Who I am
Hailing from Mississippi, Abbye West Pates is a singer/songwriter and worship leader now living in Memphis, Tenn. Writing for over 10 years, her story-driven songs are poetic, yet ordinary, spilling over from her everyday life. Her first album Leaving the Shadows, released in October 2012, revisiting the small town that raised her, the city that’s grown her up, and all the people in between. Mr. Cooley is a remembering of both what you had and what you missed, while Memphis Song helps you put your feet to the ground – planting instead of uprooting, staying instead of running away. Lilies and Sparrows offers perspective on “the economy” and our gods of security; Quiet Me Down is a declaration of needing to stop, be, take a break from the frenzy of being available to others all the time.
Abbye is supported by her drummer-husband, Jeff, who joins her on the road as they play concerts in houses, coffee shops, churches, and anywhere else that can be turned into a music venue! But perhaps most important in their travels and music-sharing is the work of hospitality, both of those extending hospitality to them and the ways they invite others into our lives and stories, as well. Abbye and Jeff’s favorite part of being on the road are the people.
“If it weren’t for the kindness of others – the immense hospitality – none of this would be worth it. We love this work of writing, playing and sharing music precisely because we get to give it away to others,” Abbye says.
In everyday life, Abbye and Jeff practice community with their housemates on a little street named Malcomb, where they grow a garden, gather weekly for Family dinner, write songs and decorate the sidewalks with chalk art with the kids who live on their street.