While in grad school at Tech, Josh Abbott went to see The Randy Rogers Band at the Blue Light in Lubbock. He'd written a few songs and had a guitar but his future crystalized for him on that night.
The band's bio page, is an incredible read. It's the true definition of a Red Raider. A guy had a dream and went out and attacked it after spending a night at the Blue Light. We don't need safety nets and damn the torpedoes.
"I always had this fascination with what they were doing. I'd go to their concerts and there'd be hundreds if not thousands of college kids singing along.
That night at the Blue Light, I just remember watching the band and thinking, I want to do this...I think I can do this."
Fast forward to today. The Josh Abbott Band has become a power player on the Texas Country Music scene while remaining fiercely independent.
He's a guy that expects special results in life, and it's happening for him. Quickly.
He's also a proud and vocal supporter of all things Texas Tech, and the football program in particular. He recently took some time to share his thoughts on the Red Raiders and of course we had some fun along the way.
Travis: Let's jump right in and get this over with. Would you rather win a Grammy or have Texas Tech win a National Championship?
Josh: Assuming you mean football, I'll go with Texas Tech. That would be an amazing moment for so many people that have been a part of the program, not to mention all the alumni and fans!
Travis: That's a true Red Raider right there. I'd sell a kid for a National Championship (just kidding) (maybe).
So what are your thoughts on this whole Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer situation?
Josh: Overall, my disappointment is that kids these days seem to move on from competition. Not everyone gets to be a starter; sometimes you're a backup. But your role as a backup is important to the team too and you never know when your number will get called. Baker's transfer baffled me simply because no big school wanted the kid on scholly, and we took a chance and it ended up being a great situation for him! Him leaving after one semester is honestly one of the most naive things I've heard of and I believe he'll regret it. But hey maybe he won't and honestly I wish him the best of luck. He's a good kid; just needs to mature like everyone at that age.
Brewer's situation is much different. I've gotten to become friends with him and have watched his time at Tech. I think he was frustrated that the coaches wouldn't give him more of a shot on the field. He loves Tech and all the people he's been around the last few years. But him graduating gives him the opportunity to explore a couple years of playing time without losing a year and I guess he decided that it should be at another school. I'm pretty disappointed he's leaving because he's such a great guy and like I said before you just never know what can happen at a position in terms of injury, grades, etc. But he's my friend and I'll be rooting for him no matter where he goes.
Travis: I completely agree. I wish nothing but the best for Brewer.
I understand you'd like National Signing Day to be a national holiday. How do you think this class is coming together? Who do you think will be the biggest stars of the class, one for offense, one for defense?
Josh: I really like the potential of this class. Not often you get the Texas and Oklahoma High School players of the year in the same class at Tech. I'm disappointed we couldn't land Henderson, and I really wish Tony Brown had given us a better look; same for the Abilene kids. But it is what it is and I think this class will give us great depth in a couple years; the depth that we've been lacking.
My offensive pick is Ian Sadler. He reminds all of us so much of Wes. It's tough to pick one! Stockton gives us great speed, Batson will be another Carlos, and I think Castaneda/Murphy will be 3 year starters for us!
My defensive pick is Dixon. We don't get Skyline kids often and he's been a 3 year starter if I remember right? I also really think Keys is gonna be a special 2-year guy for us.
Travis: Sadler is gonna be a stud and I'm so glad it looks like we hung onto Levi. So musically, whether it’s an original of yours, or one you’ve covered, what is the most difficult song for you to sing and why?
Josh: That last note on Touch is a 50/50 chance each night!
Travis: We asked Kliff this question, and I want to ask you. How would you describe a Red Raider?
Josh: Someone who embraces and values the culture of West Texas. Someone who strives to be successful, make those around them successful, and always reaches out to their Red Raider network for business opportunities.
Travis: Ok, here's a hypothetical. Say you're relaxing at a bar and here comes Toby Keith and that wrestling dude J.R. Ross, all decked out in Sooner gear. You try to play it cool, but they keep singing Boomer Sooner and stupid shit like that. So when you go over to start the bar fight, and I mean this is gonna be one of those epic bar fights with bottles breaking and pool cues snapping and dudes sliding across the bar smashing into full beer mugs, who do you take? You can choose only one: Wade, Pat, Cory or Lyle Lovett (because he's probably got that freakish, wiry, old man strength). Who's got your back?
Josh: Easy answer: Pat. First off he's almost as big as Toby. Second, he feels the same way I do about things. Third, there's a story I can't tell you.
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Travis: Ok, just DM me and I'll never tell a soul.
So what was the best Tech game you ever saw in person?
Josh: It's tough to beat the Crabtree catch, but when Peters threw it to Welker to seal the game in '02, that was an awesome moment for all of us students. I rushed the field and almost accidentally ran into Mack Brown. State troopers made sure I didn't.
Travis: That '02 game is my favorite too. A buddy and I stood against the railing waiting to storm the field. We yelled at a State Trooper and did the running motion to show him we were about to jump. We were taunting him and telling him he couldn't catch us. He made a hand gesture, pointed at his gun, and mouthed "I'll shoot you."
We didn't jump the fence.
So I'm taking my wife to see Pitbull at the San Antonio Rodeo. Based solely on that, do you think I make good life choices?
Josh: If it makes your wife happy and gets you laid, then I'd say yeah.
Travis: YES! The thing is though she doesn't even like PitBull but I'll definitely try to play that angle, and see if she understands the sacrifices I go through for her and I'm not just going to see PitBull at a rodeo in the hopes of writing a story about it.
So I've always been intrigued by the creation of a song. Taking something from inside your head, creating the lyrics and melodies and the various rhythms and notes from the instruments and tying that all together is something magical to me (and I'm not a musician). Can you give us a "Dummies Guide to Song Writing", in a few sentences?
Josh: For everyone it's different; I don't know that I can explain it in a few sentences. Willie says it's "3 chords and the truth" and that works for me.
Travis: It seems that you've gained more access or that you have a better relationship with Texas Tech Athletics in general since Kingsbury was hired. Is this something that isn't really all that accurate, or have you been embraced by the current coaching staff more so than the previous staff?
Josh: Well it's just different. Coach Mainord really opened the doors for me up there during the last regime, but with Kliff and the guys it's more because I'm their friend. I didn't really know Kliff that well in college outside of some parties and mutual friends but a couple years ago we re-connected through the Aycocks and have been friends since. Same for Eric. Mike and I were friends back in the day and I almost moved in with him at one point but he ended up going to Hawaii.
So with them all back it's been a lot of fun to be around them and see the energy they're pumping back into Tech. It's a special group and I expect special results.
Travis: Do you have any big projects coming up that you'd like to talk about?
Josh: Currently recording our next album. No idea on when it will release. Just trying to get some tunes done and we'll go from there.
Travis: I am a proud New Deal Lion (Class of 92, word to your mutha) so its hard for me to wrap my head around your song Idalou, because its such a terrible place. Do you think you could write a song about the beauty one finds in New Deal Texas? There has to be a way to create rhymes and melodies with the words "New" and Deal" as the centerpiece.
Josh: Idalou owns New Deal. Don't forget that.
Travis: Well we'll just have to agree to disagree but this just happened.
Thanks so much for your time. Any last words or messages you'd like to share with our readers and Red Raiders worldwide?
Josh: Support all the Red Raider music guys. Most of you know about Pat, Cory, and Wade, but young guys like William Clark Green will make you proud.
Again, many thanks to Josh for spending some time with us. A Red Raider with a fierce independent streak and a mean sense of humor? Seems like he'd fit right in with us at VTM. Josh and his band are busting their asses every day to make their mark in the business. That drive and determination makes me a fan.
Follow him on Twitter @JoshAbbottBand but most importantly support his music and all Red Raider musicians by purchasing their songs and attending their shows.
And I can't think of a better way to finish up than with this.
Wreck 'Em Tech.
And keep Wreckin 'Em JAB.