Some might say the four-piece JB and the Moonshine Band was born the day JB Patterson looked up to see that only three musicians had shown up at his open- call audition in his Tyler, Texas, hometown. Fortunately, Gabe Guevara (drums), Hayden McMullen (lead guitar) and Chris Flores (bass guitar) turned out to be the right three and, after a brief musical and personal get-to-know-you session, everyone realized the stars had aligned to bring them together.
But if you ask JB when the band really started, he’ll reflect back to a time rooted less in music and more in his unfulfilled dreams.
“My three-year-old son, Parker, is the reason this band exists,” he explains. “Because when I learned I was going to be a father, I knew I wanted to be able to tell him he can be whatever he wants to be as long as he sets his mind to it and works hard. But I realized there was something I had wanted to do that I never had the guts to try—being a singer/songwriter. And I thought to myself, if I’m ever gonna tell my kid that he can be whatever he wants to be, then I’d better at least give this a shot. Thankfully, it has worked out. But, succeed or fail, you’ve gotta try.”
Since taking the plunge into the music business, JB and the guys have seen enough success for JB to realize he’s already accomplished his first set of goals. In just over three years, JB has written a couple of tunes that wound up atop the Billboard Texas music charts and he and the band have recorded and released two acclaimed albums—Ain’t Goin’ Back to Jail and the current Beer for Breakfast on the Average Joes Entertainment label. They’ve also been pounding the road playing shows all over the country.
So, what’s the secret to the band’s success thus far in its young career? JB thinks it comes down to two simple things: band chemistry and his commitment to staying true to himself as a writer and artist.
“When I was a teenager and saw Willie Nelson, I was awestruck,” he recalls. “And I especially liked how his band is basically like his family. My band and I are friends, first and foremost, and secondarily, we play music together. I’ve been very fortunate to have such a good group of guys.”
And the combination of the band’s great chemistry and JB’s excellent songwriting gives these East Texas boys instant credibility wherever they play. Whether cranking out no-holds-barred honky-tonk drinking tunes or throttling back to sing about matters of the heart, JB and the Moonshine Band tunes have the ring of truth. Need proof? Check out JB’s lyrical take on the perfect hangover cure from the title cut of Beer for Breakfast:
I’ve seen ‘em all hunched over prayin’ to that toilet seat Not knowin’ all they had to do was pop a top and drink
But on the other end of the spectrum, “The Only Drug,” also from Breakfast, has plenty of romance, with just a touch of that trademark JB grit:
If you’re thinkin’ I’m addicted, I guess it’s kinda true, but they can keep their drink, their smoke, their pills and their cocaine, too . . . ‘cause your love’s the only drug I do.
While the band has achieved great success in Texas and is beginning to see it blossom in other parts of the country, JB knows he has to be careful not to forsake what’s made them popular in their home state in order to gain fans elsewhere.
“I have the responsibility to myself and to my fans to be myself on my records. That’s first and foremost to me. And that’s what’s brought us this far. I just have to always remain true to myself.”
The good news is fans are loving the music on Beer for Breakfast and the response to the CD’s summer single “No Better Than This” has been beyond great.
“We did a show recently and a bunch of people were all up at the stage and singing our songs—even songs that have never even thought about being singles. There’s no better feeling on stage than to look out at a sea of people singing a song that you wrote. That’s just the ultimate to me. And I’m fortunate and blessed to be able to experience that."
So, what about those new goals?
“I want to write a song that goes Top 10 in the Billboard charts,” declares JB with a smile. “And if I got a No. 1, that’s it. I can retire. All my wildest dreams would have come true.”
That would be great for JB, but as far as his fans are concerned, they’d probably be happy with a long string of No. 2 hits . . . to keep him out there playing more great music for years to come.