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BGS 5+5: The Panhandlers

Mar 14, 2023

BGS 5+5: The Panhandlers

Artist: The Panhandlers (Josh Abbott, John Baumann, William Clark Green and Cleto Cordero)
Hometown: West Texas
Latest Album: Tough Country
Rejected Band Names: “I’m pretty sure we had a couple we were tossing around, but the second Cleto came up with The Panhandlers, we all knew that was the one! I can’t remember what the other options were.” – Josh Abbott

Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?

I have always been inspired by Willie Nelson. He can sing, write, is a monster of a picker, acts in movies, and last but not least, he seems like a genuine, humble, good-hearted person. – Cleto Cordero

What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?

As soon as I began reading fiction from some of the “classics,” such as Hemingway and Steinbeck, my writing voice began to flourish and become more colorful. As boring as grammar can be to learn, it is mighty helpful when you’re trying to write out your complete and full thoughts and ideas. – Cleto Cordero

What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?

For The Panhandlers, I’d argue it’s “Where Cotton Is King.” We first started that on the bus ride to Marfa for our first writing trip in August 2019. We didn’t finish it until fall 2021, which worked out great for this new album. – Josh Abbott

If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be

To be respected as a good songwriter – William Clark Green

For The Panhandlers, it’s to be a legacy that inspires others decades from now to collaborate for a concept where the sum is even greater than its parts. – Josh Abbott

To create community through music. – Cleto Cordero

Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?

Chicken fried steak & Guy Clark – Josh Abbott


Photo Credit: Mackenzie Ryan Photography

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BGS 5+5: The Panhandlers
BGS 5+5: The Panhandlers