Josh Abbott makes regular visits to Abilene to play, and he tends to fill whatever venue he's playing. The Idalou, Texas, native has seen his popularity grow with each new single release to the Texas music radio scene, and his 2010 "She's Like Texas" CD gave Abbott his first taste of success on the national level(peaking at #44 on the Billboard Country chart).

For that reason, there's a considerable buzz surrounding the April 24 release of his third full-length CD, "Small Town Family Dream". My first listen has me believing he can a hit single with almost every song on it, and each is guaranteed to wear out dance floors everywhere.

If you loved Josh Abbott's music in the past, you will not be disappointed in this new offering. You won't find any wild experiments that deviate from the formula that has seen the popularity of the Josh Abbott Band increase steadily since their inception in 2000. The only thing different is, "Small Town Family Dream" is better. Better songwriting, better playing, better use of harmonies, and just a more professional all-around sound.At the same time, the entire album comes out as a heartfelt tribute to Abbott's roots in west Texas.

The opening track of "Small Town Family Dream" is, fittingly, titled "Idalou", puts me into the heart of Josh's hometown - a place I've only driven through before. Now I feel as though I've stopped and had lunch there.

"I'll Sing About Mine" is a great song Brian Keane made a top 5 Texas Music Chart hit a couple years ago. Josh puts his own spin on the tune that thumbs its nose at those who try to write and sing songs about small town America without experiencing it firsthand

Because tractors ain't sexy and workin' is hard for small town people like me...let them sing about their own life and I'll sing about mine.

The current single, "Touch", is a sweet ballad that's making a Josh Abbott-esque mad dash to the top of the Texas music charts. It follows the first release from the new CD, "My Texas" featuring Pat Green, a Lone Star

State anthem which hit the top spot in September 2010.

It's been established that The Josh Abbott Band is a force to be reckoned with on the regional scene. Some may chalk it up to name recognition, and others would credit work ethic. Fine. Those things help the cause, and artists don't go far without them. But I'm going to suggest that Josh and the boys have found a winning formula with their music, and have stayed on it consistently and improved in all aspects.

As long as CD's like "Small Town Family Dream" continue to be churned out, Josh will have no problems selling albums, having consistent #1 singles, and packing dance floors everywhere he goes for years to come.