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Josh Abbott Band

She's Like Texas – 2010 (Pretty Damn Tough)

Reviewed by Andrew W. Griffin

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CDs by Josh Abbott Band

Throughout Josh Abbott Band's new 12-song recording, there's an undeniable strain of joy and excitement running through the songs that is palpable. This Lubbock, Texas-based group has risen quickly within the Texas/Red Dirt music scene over the past couple of years. "Scapegoat," their 2008 release, was an impressive album. In between that record and this new one, JAB released the "Brushy Creek" EP, which held folks over for a few months.

And now "She's Like Texas" is taking us on a tour of the Lone Star State and beyond with upbeat road songs like the opener and, of course, the title track where Abbott compares his woman to his beloved state - "Her moods can change like the weather out in Lubbock / But you show her love, man, she'll return it." Very nice.

And the woman in Abbott's life appreciates the simple pleasures, as evidenced on the sensual Hot Water, a wonderful song with solid production, which is very straightforward and appealing.

It's just the guys on End Of A Dirt Road, a song he performed with fellow Texas country singers Trent Willmon and Roger Creager. There's a big guitar sound - think Pat Green - on If You're Leaving (I'm Coming Too).

Erik Herbst, a Denton, Texas-based producer who is garnering a lot of attention these days thanks to his work with Eli Young Band highlights the Josh Abbott Band's strengths and showcases the group in the best light possible.