Texas is a State of Mind

John Steinbeck once said, “Texas is a state of mind.” Whether you are from Texas or not, I think we can all agree that the pride from The Lone Star State is greater than any other state pride. It definitely creates a sense of community, and although it is a large one, I definitely feel connected. We like to do our own thing and when it comes to country music, of course we have to stray from the mainstream.

One band that I think represents this community, and I have seen live about seven times, is Josh Abbott Band. They love to sing in their twangy voice about Texas and small towns and, while I am not from a small town, I can relate to the beautiful scenery described in songs such as “She’s Like Texas.” He uses similes to compare a girl he likes and Texas. He talks about the “Padre Island sun” and “hills that surround Austin” (which is where I am from). Every place he mentions in the lyrics are places I have been and are what Texas is known for. Not only does he discuss the different areas, but also gives values, such as God and family, that associate with the ideal Texas girl.

53775_10152613691885552_276132377469913890_oWhen I was little I never realized that this sub-genre of Texas country was a thing. I assumed every country music fan knew the songs of Charlie Watson, Aaron Watson, and Cody Johnson. Once discussing it with out of staters, especially Tennessee natives, I soon realized that the reason for the difference in the pop sound and traditional sound was regional, creating the line between Nashville and Texas. Texas country bands are driven by live performances and a fan base that is dedicated to their favorite songs. With more tour dates, most of them in Texas,  than the average pop country artist, it allows the dedicated fan base to stay loyal.

While I still respect and enjoy Nashville music, I love listening to songs about Texas with my friends and family because of the sense of community I feel. We can blast CD’s that have all the songs with the word “Texas” in it and go to a small, outdoor venue to two step. Thank you Willie and Waylon for paving the way.


Filed under Blog Post 1, Texas

4 Responses to Texas is a State of Mind

  1. Kelby Floerke

    I really, really loved this post. I wrote about the same community, being from Texas, and a lot of the things you mention go hand in hand with what I wrote about. Just by Abbott simply listening different places around Texas and the fact that you are able to say you have been there allows you to feel like you are apart of that community. I liked how you mentioned the difference between Texas country and Nashville country and how Texas country is based more on performing live and at small venues while Nashville sounds more pop. Enjoyed this post!

  2. Annie G

    I’ve never gotten to see Josh Abbot Band live, which is sad since I’m also from Austin. I love their song “She’s like Texas” though and definitely share in the Texan pride you feel. My version of the Texas country concerts you talked about is Kevin Fowler. I’ve been to a few of his small concerts outside of Austin at dance halls and absolutely loved them. It’s always a smaller crowd and tickets are affordable- something thats hard to come across these days. This makes the concert feel more personal, it’s clear that everyone there is a fan that knows more than one song and Kevin even walked around meeting people after one of the concerts.

  3. Abby Bourland

    I loved reading this! Going through multiple blogs, I realized that Josh Abbott Band was a common band that everyone loved. I think it is the values, like God and family as mentioned, that Josh Abbott Band sings about that makes every Texan fall in love with their music. Songs like, She’s Like Texas and My Texas, are classics and known by almost every citizen in Texas. I also think that the sense of pride and community that Texans experience is greater than that of any other state. However, I have also noticed that within Texas more pride from each city are formed and shared amongst other cities. For example, I have heard of people being offended when others say that Dallas is better than Fort Worth, or vice versa. But when it comes to Texas as a big picture, I think that everyone has the same state pride.

  4. Stephanie Sebo

    I think it’s awesome how you tied up Texas feeling like a community and how Texas Country artists stay true to their fan base. I was born in Kansas, lived in Arkansas for ten years then moved to Texas in 6th grade. Coming to Texas, I definitely was able to get a different taste of what country music was. However, in Arkansas I grew up listening to the Dixie Chicks and Garth Brooks, so I was able to get a little preview with that. Where I lived in Arkansas, not many people were necessarily into country music that much, so coming here and going to the Houston Rodeo and seeing the big community was neat to me.

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