Black Music Matters Festival

Josh Abbott Band

Until My Voice Goes Out – 2017 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Josh Abbott Band

Josh Abbott Band opens its album "Until My Voice Goes Out" with the title track, which features the unique combination of stately strings along with plucked banjo. In one respect, it's a love song about the desire for a specific woman. Couched within this plea, though, is a sincere wish for a life lived to the fullest. Abbott also sings "Ain't My Daddy's Down" at album's end, which explains the meditative nature of the record's opener. When you lose someone you love dearly, such as your dad as Abbott did earlier this year, it oftentimes makes you closely reexamine everything about your life.

This album isn't a front-to-back 'live like you were dying' effort, though. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" humorously describes a day when seemingly everything goes wrong, while "Heartbeatin'" is another banjo-fueled - along with a hearty horn section and some apt mandolin - country romance song.

"I'm Your Only Flaw" is the prettiest song. It's one where Abbott describes a nearly perfect woman. The singular flaw being, well, him. He sings it with gentle, subtle sincerity.

With its abundant use of strings and horns, "Until My Voice Goes Out" comes off upon first impression as a distinctly ambitious effort. The songs are so good however, they fully deserve to be gussied up this way. If Abbott's voice ever does go out after singing songs like these, it'll be vocal effort well spent.