Josh Abbott didn’t begin writing songs until around 2004, when he was still in grad school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. He vividly recalls the epiphany he had at a concert one night at Lubbock’s Blue Light when the notion of writing and playing his own music – maybe even for a living – first took root.
Together with his banjo-playing fraternity brother, Austin Davis, Abbott began putting that confidence to the test at open mic nights. A year and a half later, fiddle player Preston Wait and drummer Edward Villanueva came on board, and the fledgling Josh Abbott Band was off and running – slowly, at first, but not for long. “We didn’t record a demo until 2007, which was “Taste,” and then we didn’t even get a booking agent and start touring outside of Lubbock until 2008,” says Abbott. “But after that, everything started happening so fast for us that we really weren’t ready for it at first. The main objective now is to make sure that the bell curve stays in our favor,” Abbott says when asked where he wants his band to be in the next five years. “For me, the goal is for us to be able to not just maintain, but consistently get bigger.”
Among his goals “from the get-go,” he says, was for his band to distinguish itself as one of the “most successful independent country bands” of its era. And if there’s a difference between that and what most people consider “mega stardom,” well, he’s quite OK with that, because “success” in his book isn’t defined by the all-or-nothing fantasy of platinum-selling records and sold-out arena tours.