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Country music group Josh Abbott Band has a growing fan base. The band is inspired by artists such as Randy Rogers Band and the Eli Young Band.

Courtesy of Heather Bohn Public Relations

The Blue Note prepares to welcome Josh Abbott Band

The country group stays true to themselves while expanding its fan base.

By Tess Hart | Aug. 27, 2013

Tags: Concerts Downtown Columbia Music

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When: 9 p.m. Thursday Where: The Blue Note Tickets: $12

We live in a time when country music — and the music industry in general — has become so mainstream it’s hard to believe there are still bands out there that appreciate doing things the old-fashioned way. The Josh Abbott Band does just that and still finds a way to continuously gain fans while relying on a time-tested method in producing music.

The band is made up of lead singer Josh Abbott, fiddle player Preston Wait, drummer Edward Villanueva, bassist James Hertless, electric guitarist Caleb Keeter and banjo player Austin Davis.

“Compared to the really, really mainstream kind of music, this is kind of a more raw, organic and edgy kind of music,” Wait says. “Everyone in the band records all at once, and in Texas, it’s a lot more common to use the actual guys in the group (at once). It’s not a really common thing in the mainstream stuff. You can kind of develop more of your own sound this way.”

The original band members, Abbott and Davis, formed and recorded their first demo in 2007 and soon started touring in the Lubbock, Texas, area. Wait was attending school at South Plains College when Abbott and Davis contacted him about playing fiddle for the band.

“I don’t have to work, and that’s my favorite part,” Wait says. “I’ve been playing the fiddle since I was five, so this has been my goal my whole life and getting to do it actually as a living is just great. I work with my best friends, and that always makes it even better.”

The Josh Abbott Band was highly influenced by many bands over the years, but even more so by the Randy Rogers Band and the Eli Young Band.

“As a fiddle player, one of my favorite entertainers is Charlie Daniels,” Wait says. “He made the instrument really cool, you know?”

Recently, the band has tried to branch out from just performing in the Texas area and is switching its focus to states along the West Coast, as well as New Mexico, Denver, Kansas, Nebraska and the Chicago area.

“The main goal is to just keep doing what we do and reach more states around the country,” Wait says. “We’ve found out that there are people that are really into that scene all over. There’s a whole group of people really enjoying the whole independent style of music instead of the same just cookie cutter stuff.”

The Josh Abbott Band has performed in Columbia three times before. This includes being the opening act for the Randy Rogers Band, as well as performing on its own.

“I love theater-type shows,” Wait says. “In a dance hall or a big crowd of people, there are a lot of them that aren’t paying attention. You get into a theater and everyone is just really locked in, and it’s just a great time. They’ve just got a cool energy about them and last time we were (in Columbia), it was a pretty big crowd, and it was just a blast. We can’t wait to be back.”

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