Josh Abbott Band: We’re Not ‘Just a Texas Country Band’
The Josh Abbott Band are from Texas, yes, and they’re proud of their Lone Star State roots, but they’re making music for everyone, not just “Texas country” fans.
“I think there’s definitely some perception out there that if a band is a Texas country band, they can’t succeed on the national level,” JAB frontman Josh Abbott tells The Boot. “And, yeah, I mean, if we have a song that’s basically, ‘Texas is the greatest state ever, and the rest of you can suck it,’ yeah, that’s probably not a song that’s going to work nationally. But I think being a Texas band is more about just us paying homage to our heritage and our roots and where we grew up and musically what we cut our teeth on.”
It’s common for artists to pay tribute to where they’re from, but Abbott admits that Texas acts seem to get pigeonholed in ways that others don’t. He points to country stars such as Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson, who often sing about where they’re from but don’t get pegged as “Carolina country” or “Georgia country.” Sing about being from Texas, though, and it’s a different story.
“It’s a bit of a double standard … the Texas guy sings about where he’s from, and all of a sudden, it’s, ‘Oh, it’s Texas country,'” Abbott says.
Abbott adds that he wants fans to realize that the country music coming out of Texas is just as varied and diverse as the genre is on a national level.
“If you were listening to mainstream radio and you heard Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Cam and Keith Urban, you would hear such different approaches … it’s the same thing in Texas. It’s not like every band sounds the same,” he explains. “I think our common roots are in the fact that we typically … try not to over-produce things, and a lot of us pay homage, at some point on an album, to where we’re from.”
The Josh Abbott Band reject the stereotype that bands from Texas are just making music for Texans. They are, their frontman says, a group looking to make music that a wide cross-section of fans will enjoy.
“It’s a shame that sometimes we do get pigeonholed or boxed in as ‘just a Texas country band.’ It’s a stereotype we’re trying to fight because we’re trying to make music that people who like country music are going to like whether they’re from Delaware and Maine or Florida or Seattle,” Abbott says. “I feel like we’re making music that really works across the board.”