Country favorites Josh Abbott Band will release a new EP Catching Fire on June 28. The band released the first song from the EP, “Little More Of You” with this video here at Billboard today: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/8512883/josh-abbott-band-little-more-you-video. The video directed by Evan Kaufmann (Chase Rice, Chris Young) features Jep and Jess Robertson from “Duck Dynasty."
Produced by Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard, Frankie Ballard, Aaron Watson), the Catching Fire EP features four songs of positivity, built on solid country textures and unified by Abbott’s congenial-but-experienced voice. The EP brings a sense of similarity back to JAB’s own foundation. It’s a return to the band’s sonic past, a revival of its bar-bred optimism and fiery individualism. And it’s a reflection of the group’s off-stage cycles as old chapters are closed and a renewed, upbeat storyline comes to life. Catching Fire captures a sense of personal renewal.
“We have a whole new refocused attitude on what we're gonna do now moving forward,” Abbott says. “Catching Fire is a reflection of what's happened over the last year and a half of my life.”
“My embers are startin’ to glow again,” Abbott sings in the opening line of the title track. The entire Catching Fire project is bright, spry and optimistic. From the limber lines of Preston Wait’s fiddle to the decisive crack of Edward Villanueva’s snare and the animated scratch of Abbott’s acoustic guitar, there’s a relaxed energy to the project, a sense of hard-won spirit that can only be developed by confronting – and conquering – emotional hurdles.
“Surprise Surprise” – a jaunty, driving bit of autobiography – details the rise and fall and rise again, namechecking banjo player Austin Davis in the opening line as it follows JAB’s 2006 inception and ascent to one of country’s most dynamic live acts. Likewise, verse two loosely documents Abbott’s own relationship travails, from love to broken heart to a marriage that resulted in his first child. While Catching Fire captures the band’s current heartbeat, the songs fit so neatly into the JAB live set that fans experienced them as if they were already part of the band’s canon.
Country fans have been singing JAB songs for more than a decade already. The seven-piece group’s relentless on-stage attitude quickly made it a successful touring act, building out from a Texas band to a regional act to a national crew with a devoted following from coast to coast. Concurrently, JAB developed its own label, Pretty Damn Tough Records, before that was an accepted practice in country circles. Two of their projects, Small Town Family Dream and Front Row Seat, scored top 10 debuts on the Billboard country albums chart, while five titles cracked the Billboard country singles lists, including a pair – “Oh, Tonight” with Kacey Musgraves; and “Wasn’t That Drunk,” with Carly Pearce – that represented the first chart appearance for current female country stars.
All that music established JAB as a band of renown: a good-timin’ cast with a plethora of sing-along songs that raised concert-goers’ spirits whether your date was a fellow college student or a series of longnecks from the bar.
Led by the true-to-life cycles in Abbott’s life, Abbott ambitiously documented the dissolution of first marriage in Front Row Seat. And the expansive Until My Voice Goes Out, recorded as Abbott tended to an ailing father, mixed elegant strings and a Memphis-tipped horn sound. His dad passed away just weeks before they finished the album, and it created a rite of passage that was particularly difficult to process in such a public occupation.
“There were nights in that first year after my dad died, I was bawling five minutes before we went on stage, and I'd have to wipe the tears away and throw on a smile and sing ‘My Texas,’” Those concerts, in fact, planted some of the first seeds of renewal in Abbott’s life. “When you're able to have fun with a crowd of people and sing and dance around on stage, it's definitely therapeutic,” he says. As he put the pieces back together and felt a personal sense of renewal, the band as a whole felt a need to get back to its own roots. They took the four new songs – the Abbott/Wait compositions and the two outside pieces – and teamed with accomplished producer Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard, Frankie Ballard, Aaron Watson) for sessions at the Sonic Ranch on the outskirts of El Paso.
The band’s musical renewal is perhaps timely. Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Aaron Watson, Midland and Cody Johnson are successfully blending the Texas mindset – a country framework with unique, multi-genre flavors – into commercial country music, and the JAB tradition fits neatly into that trend.
Hailed as one of the top Texas country acts, the independent band has accumulated over 140 million total streams, 20 million YouTube/VEVO views has over 1.8 million single sales and 250,000 album sales. Additionally, the band has sold over 1.5 million concert tickets the last two years. The band performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox & Friends and Conan. JAB is Josh Abbott (vocals, guitar), Preston Wait (fiddle, electric guitar), Edward Villanueva (drums), James Hertless (bass), Caleb Keeter (electric guitar), Austin Davis (banjo), David Fralin (Keyboard).
Catching Fire Track List
Josh Abbott Band Tour Dates
5/24 - Texarkana, TX - Scottie’s Grill
5/25 - Austin, TX - Lone Star Jam
5/31 - Addison, TX - Taste of Addison Festival
6/7 - Aransas Pass, TX - Aransas Pass Shimporee Festival
6/8 - Midland, TX - Midland County Amphitheater
6/14 - Bossier City, TX - The Stage at Silver Star
6/21 - Katy, TX - Mo’s Place
6/28 - Abilene, TX - Taylor County Expo Center
6/29 - Elsa, TX - Mario Leal Park
7/5 - New Braunfels, TX - River Road Icehouse
7/6 - New Braunfels, TX - River Road Icehouse
7/12 - Kansas City, MO - Crossroads KC
7/13 - Cuba, MO - Crawford County Fair
7/25 - El Dorado, KS - Dam Music Festival
7/26 - Fort Smith, AR - Peacemaker Music Festival
7/27 - Amarillo, TX - Starlight Ranch
8/10 - West Point, NE - Cuming County Fair
For full list of tour dates visit: JoshAbbottBand.com.