Josh Abbott Band Headlines San Angelo's River Fest Sept. 15
SAN ANGELO, TX —The Josh Abbott Band will headline the annual 2018 River Fest in San Angelo Sept. 15. Opening for Abbott is Granger Smith.
Abbott, a Texas Tech alum, rose the prominence in the regional music scene along the northern route of the Texas Country Music circuit from Lubbock through San Angelo and Stephenville to Fort Worth in the late-2000s. Some fans recall Abbott performing an acoustic show at downtown San Angelo’s Blaine’s Pub almost every Thursday night.
Abbott recorded two records in his early years. Scapegoat was released in 2008 while he was still a grad student at Tech. The record got him into the door at larger venues to perform, but no songs rose to prominence. It wasn’t until his sophomore record, She’s Like Texas, released in 2010, that Abbott’s popularity took off.
The title song pays tribute to every part of Texas, presumably places he and his band had toured. “She's as bright as the Dallas sky…”, “Her eyes are green like the trees in Nacogdoches…”, “She's as hot as the Padre Island sun…” are examples of the tributes to all corners of the state of Texas.
The song was panned by some inside the industry as pandering. But the marketing genius of the song was that it related to people geographically, and to the radio station program managers across the state, especially where their broadcast area received a shout-out in the song’s lyrics. The song’s official music video attracted over 6.6 million views on YouTube.
WATCH “She’s Like Texas”
A bigger hit from the She’s Like Texas record was “Oh, Tonight”, a duet with Kacy Musgraves, a former contestant on the TV show Nashville Star. The song convinced Michael Berick at All Music that “Abbott, sounding somewhat like Steve Earle, nicely projects masculine strength and sensitivity as he duets with [a] fellow Texan.” The song topped out at number 44 on the nationwide Billboard Country Charts.
WATCH “Oh, Tonight”
In 2012, Abbott’s third record out-performed “She’s Like Texas” and solidified his regional, and oftentimes, national stardom. It was titled Small Town Family Dream. The single that charted from that record was “Touch.”
In all, Abbott has recorded five records and one extended play album. Other more recent hits include “Wasn't That Drunk” that was recorded as a duet with Carly Pearce, a Nashville recording star from Kentucky; “Amnesia”; and two songs that harken back to his breakout hit “She’s Like Texas,” one song titled, “Texas Women, Tennessee Whiskey”; and this year’s "Girl Down in Texas.”
WATCH “Girl Down in Texas”
The two latter songs are on his 2017 record, Until My Voice Goes Out.
Today, Abbott and the band are touring nationally. They opened for Jason Aldean in October 2017 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival where the Las Vegas gunman opened fire on the crowd there just as Aldean began his set. The tragedy, where 58 concert-goers were mercilessly gunned down, changed the pro-gun view previously held by Abbott’s lead guitarist Caleb Keeter.
“I’ve been a proponent of the second amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night,” he wrote on Twitter the day after the tragedy. “I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [concealed handgun license], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless. We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.”
The San Angelo Josh Abbott Band concert featuring Granger Smith is Sept. 15 at the Bill Aylor Memorial RiverStage. Gates open at 6 p.m., according to the City of San Angelo. Advance tickets are $20, VIP $60 and available at RoadHouse Tickets (click here).
This is the sixth annual River Fest. The first event six years ago celebrated the 100th anniversary of Santa Fe Park and the improvements to the Concho River downtown.
More than the headline Josh Abbott Band concert, the sixth annual San Angelo River Fest includes a six-on-six volleyball tournament and a three-player scramble at Santa Fe Golf Course.
The rest of the day’s lineup includes:
- 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. – Run with the Heroes, Operation blue Shield Superhero, 5k & family mile @ River Stage, Neff's.
- 9:00 a.m. - noon Lily Fest @ Civic League Park
- 10 a.m.-noon – Three-player scramble golf tournament, at Santa Fe Golf Course.
- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Six-on-six sand volleyball tournament at The Bosque.
- 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Recreation Fun and Games @ Neff's Area
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m. – Shannon's Kids Court, featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, and long horns. Unlimited access bracelets will be available for $5.
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m. – Concessions and vendors in the Neff’s area.
- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Grogan’s Canoes and Kayaks at Celebration Bridge.
- 11 a.m.-noon – Free kids washer-pitching at The Bosque.
- 11 a.m.-6 p.m. – Kids flag football games in the Neff’s area.
- Noon-7 p.m. – Live music at the Chadbourne Bridge Stage.
- 1 p.m.-7 p.m. – Vega washer-pitching tournament in the games court in The Bosque.
- 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Girl Scouts Canoe Races at south end of Celebration Bridge
- 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - River Fest Adult Olympics @ Neff's
- 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Recreation Canoe Races
- 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Grogan's Canoes & Kayaks at north end Celebration Bridge
- 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Texas Country Concert @ Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial River Stage.