The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music

The Abbott Family Band

This is Kyle's idea of a press release. See also our "official" version. Kyle says, "I've heard it said (from Papa) that what we lack in talent, we make up for in self-promotion. I do what I can."

The genuinely infamous Abbott family featuring 'Papa' Carl, 'Mama' Leslie, and brothers Luke and Kyle (of Kyle Abbott's Web Pit Stop . . . don't forget to enter the Vault!) have been playing old-time music together in the evenings since the kids were jumpy little sprouts. If they are practicing (but mostly playing) for a set (that always has that absolutely stunning "Maple on the Hill" at the beginning of each set mind you) and make a lot of noise, Wife remarks that the windows are open and they might annoy passers-by. The real reason is that they don't want to give away their secret song order to the public. They might lose their fame and powerful glory! (And we can't have that.)

A couple of years ago they decided to begin performing as a family band in order to promote the joy of playing music. Husband (as well as all of them) is in it for the promotion of the joyfulness of playing music. Big Brother is in it for promotion as well. Little Brother is in it for the promotion . . . and the money, that and the free food at gigs (Bring on the bacon! –Little Brother). As you would expect, they make a lot of money.

They have developed what they have all agreed to call the ToneWay Music Method – a simple grunt-free way to playing by ear for the common lay man/woman. They teach this simply astounding class (to put it modestly) locally (or at some festivals) and offer instruction materials on the web at

On most sunny Saturday afternoons, the Eyebaths . . . I mean the Abbotts enjoy strolling down to the Pacific Garden Mall to transport enthralled folks into a enchanted old-time musical world with well-known bluegrass songs like Worried Man Blues and John Henry, as well as more double-barreled songs such as Pretty Polly and Gospel Plow. Beside their overflowing "tip case" they exhibit a poster with handouts (you could even call them gifts!) to introduce this down-home "people music" to their street-corner audiences. Big Brother screams on the ol' 5 string and brings the waves of on-listeners to tears (of joy) with his soaring harmonies and banjo licks. All in all, if you haven't already noticed, this is one hot band!

If you weren't present at last year's Good Ol' Fashioned Bluegrass Festival to revel in the Abbotts' wondrous performance at GOF (The band food was great! -Little Brother), you will be forgiven and can relive that epic earth-shattering (in a good way) force of nature if you acquire the semi-NEW Abbott Family Band CD: Live at the GOF! You can be taken back to that magical moment when Little Brother did that amazing Mandolin-Bass switch-off with Mark Varner (who took Wife's place when her wrist was in turmoil. Mark screamed on the bass [which is a good thing]!). If you by chance happen to have a computer (which is like asking you if you have a toilet), you can pop that CD into your CD-ROM drive (or coffee holder as some people call it) and enjoy dozens of hours (estimate) of Abbott Family Goodness. You can hear some audio of the recording of the family and Little Brother before his voice lowered. You can also access several videos of the GOF performance like Big Brother turning red as a tomato singing "Working on a Building"! Witness the L.B.P.M.B.B.E.O! (Little Brother Playing Mandolin Behind the Back Eye-Opener!). You can also see a biography of 'em and hear about the peaks and downs of their career. (Did you know they actually own their very own microphone? Wow!) The Abbott Family Band . . . Be There!