Josh Abbott Band Feat. Kacey Musgraves, ‘Oh, Tonight’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The Josh Abbott Band have been making noise on the Texas-Oklahoma scene since the early 2000s. Now, the band is experiencing their first mainstream hit with their latest single, 'Oh, Tonight,' which lead vocalist Josh Abbott penned five years ago with Sunny Helms.
"This is probably one of the first songs I wrote, that’s what’s crazy about it," Abbott tells Taste of Country. "Most of the time, the stuff that you write at the beginning of your career usually sucks! That’s the case with a lot of my other stuff, but I wrote that one when I was in Lubbock before I even recorded my first CD. I knew Sunny through another band. She was pursuing the country music thing as well. What’s funny is she ended up moving off to Nashville, and she’s now working for a publishing company, and she’s a songwriter. She’s kind of made her dream come true, and so have I."
"We sat down and started writing this song," Abbott continues. "We just had the idea of writing a song about two people who are kind of tired of playing the whole flirt around for months and months at a time, kind of thing … two people who were just like, ‘Look … tonight I’m drunk or whatever, but I’m not going to back off, so tonight we’re doing this!’ We sat down and just started writing it."
"I grab your hand and you say, 'Wait' / I say, 'No girl it's way too late' / We've been playing games for weeks / Now I'm ready to play for keeps," they wrote in the lyrics of the song's opening verse.
"We turned it into a duet because I was there and she was there," Abbott says of the writing appointment. "We kind of had fun taking turns singing."
"Oh, tonight / We’re gonna set the world on fire / I’m gonna set aside my pride / Not gonna be the one to say goodbye / Neither am I / Oh tonight," they sing in the song's chorus.
"We went to record in 2009," recalls Abbott. "We had all the other songs on the record, except for that one. I just felt like we needed a duet. I was like, ‘You know what … I remember a song I wrote with this girl years ago! I’m not sure how good it is, but do y’all want to hear it?’ So I played it for them, and they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, dude! That’s a really good song!’ So we decided right then and there that that would be the last song to make the record. So we put it on there."
For Abbott's duet partner, he remembered a young artist by the name of Kacey Musgraves who he felt would be perfect on 'Oh, Tonight.'
"Kacey used to be an intern and a secretary for my booking agent," says Abbott. "She was just trying to be in the music business in any way she could. That’s how I met her. I’ve always been in love with her voice, and she’s just adorable. I started recording the song, and I was like, you know what … I think Kacey Musgraves’ voice is perfect for this. She’s wasn’t anybody famous and she’d never had a hit, but I didn’t care. I just thought her voice was best for it. I called her up, she recorded the song, and that was that!"
"The first time I heard the song, I thought it was awesome," Musgraves adds. "It seemed to really work. It's amazing. People love the song, especially girls. It's cool to go out sing the song, and all the girls know my part."
"Obviously with it being the last song on the record, it came out sounding really great," Abbott says. "About six or seven months into our album sales, we were looking at our individual downloads on iTunes and seeing what songs have been the most popular. Of course our No. 1 song was ‘She’s Like Texas,’ because that was our big hit down in Texas and Oklahoma and was all over the radio. The No. 2 song was ‘Oh, Tonight.’ Now that was surprising at the time because we had already released three songs from the album. For that to be more popular than two of the songs we put to radio already was a huge sign for me. People dug it. So we started pushing it to radio. Now, here we are. I guess it’s been about 10 months and the song’s been in the Top 60s on Billboard for the past two and a half months. It peaked at No. 47. The video did well on CMT for us. It’s been really fun to watch the success of it."