In September of 2007, I attended the first of many concerts at Lubbock's Lone Star Amphitheater. Headlining that night was one of my favorite bands at the time, the Randy Rogers band. I remember going with my sister, parents and two cousins. We snuck into the VIP section which had a vacant table so we could sit down and watch the performers. Opening for Rogers was Cory Morrow and before him, another guy that we had never heard of.
Somehow, my sister heard that this new kid was from Idalou, a small town outside Lubbock. When I was in high school, I hated Idalou because they beat us at every sport and usually when our best coaches left my high school, they went to coach in Idalou. However, it was exciting that a small town boy was performing on a stage with acts like Morrow and Rogers, so we sat back and enjoyed the show. I didn't know any of the songs, but little did I know, that was all about to change.
Fast-forward a few years. This past Saturday night, I watched that exact same boy sing a song called Idalou, about his hometown (that this past school year got State championships in both football and basketball). In his song, he described his town perfectly. I have driven through Idalou thousands of times on my way back and forth from my small town to Lubbock for groceries, shopping, doctor's appointments, and now, for school and work. I know exactly what he was talking about when he mentions his dad's shop, the cotton gin where farmers meet for coffee, and the "yellow flashing light that says proceed with caution because if you leave you may be forgotten."
When Lubbock radio stations first started playing "Taste," it was exciting and this new local artist, Josh Abbott, was often referred to as "that boy from Idalou." Now, he just wrapped up his first-annual JAB Fest here in Lubbock on that very stage where I saw him sing for the first time. Saturday night I watched favorite acts like southern rockers Whiskey Myers, legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, Americana icon Hayes Carll and finally, headliner the Josh Abbott Band. I am so proud of Abbott for bringing something like this back to Lubbock. West Texas doesn't really attract musicians like other areas of Texas do. This festival was something we have been needing for a while, and Mr. Josh Abbott was the perfect person to provide us with that.
Thanks to Josh Abbott so much for sticking to his roots and congratulations on the successful event (over 3,500 people went). I can't wait for the Second (and third, fourth, fifth, and 43rd) Annual JAB Fest.