More Than Just a Song: The Josh Abbott Band and Fellow Musicians Use Music to Help Give Back

The majority of musicians you’ll come across, especially in Texas, are great people. That’s just a fact – the Texas way. Whether it’s making a young fan’s day by taking a picture with them or playing fundraiser shows, the generosity is very present and very consistent in the Lone Star State. A popular group in that scene that goes above and beyond is the Josh Abbott Band. Originating out of Lubbock in 2006, the group has been at the top of the heap of Texas acts, with popular tunes such as “Settle Me Down,” “Oh, Tonight,” and “She’s Like Texas.” Abbott himself even helped form The Panhandlers, a supergroup consisting of fellow accomplished musicians Cleto Cordero, John Baumann and William Clark Green. But what some people may not know about JAB is their charity work and how they partner with organizations in need. The name of this charity is “JAB Cares”.

A fun way that JAB used their music to help raise money was through their two EPs – both volumes of their Josh Abbott Band and Friends collection.

“I went in the studio in January of 2021 and recorded a bunch of covers with guests on each one – some with my band, some with a mix of bands and some with other bands. Just a fun project for our 501c3 charity, JAB Cares,” Abbott explains. “I fronted the money, the artists waived performance royalties and all streaming money goes to our philanthropy.”

He goes on to say about volume one, “Last fall I did an EP that was Panhandlers themed. Songs with Flatland, WCG, Baumann and a Bruce Robison cover with Jamie Lin.”

As for the newest addition to the Josh Abbott Band and Friends series, all of the tracks are great listens and wonderful covers. “The Galway Girl” kicks off with a nice, breezy aesthetic with fiddle spotlighted throughout – something that’s not surprising when Shane Smith & the Saints are involved. “Screw You, We’re From Texas” is a fun bop featuring Koe Wetzel and Larry Joe Taylor that chugs along to a snare beat. Each artist holds their own through this classic sounding tune that’s reminiscent of some old outlaw country with great solos and riffs.

“Roadtrip” has a nice, bouncy pattern like the previous track with a melody that spits at you quick and gets stuck in your head equally as fast. LJT, Roger Creager and Kevin Fowler perform exceptionally well on this song. Last but not least, we have “Forgiving You Was Easy” featuring Courtney Patton. Patton’s vocals are beautiful along with the slow, swinging build of the tune and pleasant steel guitar.

When referring to these particular EPs, Abbott states, “No clue what we’ve raised so far, but it’s a love project that we hope snowballs and adds up over time.”

“Our 501c3 charity raises money for a variety of causes,” he goes on to say, “Our biggest focus has been human and sex trafficking, but we’ve raised money for people in need, firefighters, teachers and more. We just like to help people in need when we can.”

JAB Cares has raised $600k in the last two years and show no signs of showing down. Give volume one and two of the Josh Abbott Band and Friends a listen and also visit the charity’s website here to see what you can do to support!

Article Cover Photo from the JAB Cares website.


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