Front Row Seat

Front Row Seat

by Josh Abbott BandJosh Abbott Band


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On the first three albums by the Josh Abbott Band, the group's titular singer/songwriter never bothered to disguise his compositional ambitions, but the finely etched songs of 2012's Small Town Family Dream in no way suggest the scope of 2015's Front Row Seat. At a time when many artists are content to craft collections of expertly sculpted tracks, Josh Abbott revived the idea of the country concept album, structuring Front Row Seat as an audio play tracing the rise and fall of a doomed romance. There are antecedents for this, including Willie Nelson's landmark 1974 LP Phases & Stages, but where that record found Willie grafting a concept upon some preexisting tunes, Abbott seizes the melodrama, breaking the record down into five acts and shifting his music so it mirrors the emotional content of the songs. As the record begins, things are bright and hopeful, filled with straight-ahead red dirt Texan country and love ballads, but by the time the marriage starts to fray, the JAB threads in a considerable amount of rock, embracing the essential proggy nature of the project by turning things heavy and arty in the last act of the record. Conceptually, this is nifty -- the band get to show off their dexterity without ever seeming like they're showing off; that alone separates them from their po-faced alt-country peers -- but the reason why Front Row Seat works so well is that all this is in service to the songs. No matter how large Abbott's overarching ambition is -- he makes no bones about it, either, wearing the record's dramatic structure as a point of pride -- the album is inherently a song cycle, with each of the main 15 songs working on their own terms, celebrating the giddy innocence of falling in love or the persistent ache of heartbreak. This speaks to Abbott's strengths as a songwriter, but the reason Front Row Seat lingers is that it's an album deliberately designed to be greater than its individual parts: it's an old-fashioned concept album made with vitality and vigor, so it feels fresh even when the Josh Abbott Band are singing time-honored tales of love and heartbreak.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/06/2015
Label: Pretty Damn Tough
UPC: 0083832195014
catalogNumber: 3219501
Rank: 42191

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Abbott Band   Primary Artist
Dwight A. Baker   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Harmony
Josh Abbott   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Ilya Toshinsky   Acoustic Guitar
Preston Wait   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Carly Pearce   Vocals
Clay Corn   Accordion
James Hertless   Bass Guitar,Harmony
Lil' P   Harmony
Caleb Keeter   Acoustic Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
David Fralin   Organ,Piano
Austin Davis   Banjo
Macy Maloy   Harmony
Eddie Villanueva   Drums

Technical Credits

Radney Foster   Composer
Mike Daly   Composer
Blake Chaffin   Composer
Zac Maloy   Composer
Shane McAnally   Composer
Dwight A. Baker   Producer,Engineer
Brandon Adams   Composer
Josh Abbott   Composer,Producer,Creation
Dave Barnes   Composer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Jeremy Spillman   Composer
Brent Cobb   Composer
Preston Wait   Musical Director,Additional Production
Josh Hoge   Composer
William Clark Green   Composer
Jay Clementi   Composer
Wyatt Durrette   Composer
Josh Osborne   Composer
Aaron Eshuis   Composer
Neil Medley   Composer
Ruston Kelly   Composer
Chase Yaklin   Composer
Brian Davis   Composer
Brett Tyler   Composer
Emily Weisband   Composer
David Thomas Butler   Engineer,Creation
Dave Fenley   Composer
Matt McGinn   Composer

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