#Current10 Memories: Barb Abney

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Barb Abney spins tunes at Icehouse in Minneapolis. (MPR photo/Luke Taylor)
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Barb Abney Afghan Whigs interview outtake
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Shortly after The Current launched, I was working at woxy.com in Cincinnati. We heard from numerous friends about the launch and I remember looking at the playlist and wondering "What the hell are they doing?" when someone played White Stripes next to Led Zeppelin.

In August 2006, I interviewed at the station on my birthday — and before I knew it, I was packing my bags to move to Minnesota.

Random memory from my first years at The Current: in 2008, we partnered with the Walker Art Center for our first Rock The Garden. I had never been in front of that many people in my life and as soon as I got off stage after introducing Cloud Cult, I threw up.

I've been a fan of the Afghan Whigs ever since being introduced to their music in 1994, the year I got into radio. If you've listened to my show, you may have heard me mention or play them. When they went on hiatus 15 years ago, I was heartbroken that I'd never get to host a true session with the band.

Since I have been working at The Current, I've been able to talk about this band and their fantastic music on several occasions. I've been surprised multiple times on air by my boss letting me know surprising news: first about the Afghan Whigs re-forming to play the ATP fest, then that they'd released a new single, that they were playing a show here at the Varsity in October 2012.

Over the years, I interviewed vocalist Greg Dulli when he was touring with Twilight Singers, and I hosted a radio session with bassist John Curley's band Staggering Statistics. Both were pretty sweet, but it just wasn't the same. Finally, upon the release of Do to the Beast a date at First Avenue was scheduled and I launched a mission to have the band in to our studios for a performance! Thanks to Sub Pop and everyone here who made just that happen.

October 11, 2014 was a Saturday. I offered to work that day so we could air the interview before the Afghan Whigs' show that night. It was a little early in rock star time and I was trying to play it cool like it was just another interview (though my inner self was doing cartwheels) while the band warmed up. Just before we started rolling, as they were still fine-tuning their instruments, Greg and I had a brief but very "Cincinnati" discussion — and the band launched into a few bars of "Save It For Later." OMG fangirl!

You can "eavesdrop" on us — and hear the band's take on the English Beat — by clicking above to listen.

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