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.
When 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.