Josh Abbott Band - Catching Fire
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Catching Fire (Pretty Damn Tough, 2019)

Josh Abbott Band

Reviewed by Bill Caruthers

Releasing five albums and two EPs since 2008, the normally prolific Josh Abbott Band returns more to its roots after exploring new, more Nashville-type sound over the last two albums. This self-released effort shows maturity and confidence by remembering who they are and expanding their base at the same time.

With the title cut, "Catching Fire," co-written by Abbott, serving as a bridge between their past musical exploration and their rootsy Texas sound, it is his distinctive voice that elevates this cut from being just another indistinguishable modern-day country release. However, this more homogenous sound ends here. The remaining three cuts show Abbott growing as an artist while staying true to himself.

It is as a storyteller that Abbott shines the most. With "Outta Get Drunk," a bar song complete with a sing-along chorus that fans can raise a glass to, Abbott is back in his element. "Surprise Surprise" is a self-penned, vintage-sounding effort that serves as an autobiographical chronicle of the band past musical exploration and their musical rebirth over the past two years by returning to their roots - wiser and more steady. If you liked earlier JAB, you'll love this cut. Incomplete without a love song, the uptempo "Little More You" more than fills that void with another hook-filled chorus..

Showing experience and maturity, this "back to the future" approach seems to be the right move at the right time.

CDs by Josh Abbott Band

Christmas Was, 2021 The Highway Kind, 2020 Catching Fire, 2019 Until My Voice Goes Out, 2017 Front Row Seat, 2015 Tuesday NIght EP, 2014 Small Town Family Dream, 2012 She's Like Texas, 2010

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