When a friend brought him a guitar found in a dumpster, it was the beginning of a new love story with music for a former local teenager.
"I've been playing since I was about 17," said Jesse Raub Jr. "That's when a friend found a guitar in a dumpster behind Amato's and brought it to me. I had to replace the strings and then I started learning how to play."
Raub, who grew up in Tomball and Magnolia, began to teach himself to play with the help of a chord chart his brother-in-law gave him. From there he eventually went to writing his own music and became friends with other local rising stars like Cody Johnson and Josh Ward.
He grew up "slinging chains" while helping his father with his wrecker business and later on helped to build many things in Magnolia working in his dad's dirt work business.
Eventually Raub decided that music was his desired path. He had played part time for several years, but last year made the leap of faith to performing full time.
"I decided that I needed to give 110 percent to this because it's my last shot at it – I'm not getting any younger," he said.
That leap of faith was made easier, Raub said, by a support network of colleagues, family and friends.
"I had people that believed in me more than I believed in myself," he said.
With that decision made, Raub dove head first into writing songs for his new album "Blame it on the Music."
"Sometimes you write a song because you're mad or sad and sometimes it's just a phrase or something you overheard someone saying triggers an idea," he said. "I remember one time I heard a preacher say that it doesn't matter if you're in the lead or not. It inspired me to write a song in the car on the way home.
Those ideas have already produced three songs that have charted in the top 40 on the Texas Music Chart and the Texas Regional Radio Chart, including the song Bad Intentions on the new album. More than half of the country radio stations statewide have that song in their regular rotation.
Raub will be celebrating that milestone and his birthday, during a special performance at Magnolia's Urban Cowgirl Dance Hall & Saloon, Jan. 25.
"This is going to be a special show," he said. "It's my hometown crowd, where I cut my teeth and it's great to come here and play for my family and friends."
"I have had so much help along the way," he added. "I am completely blessed."
Doors for Raub's birthday bash at Urban Cowgirl will open at 3 p.m.. For more information visit www.jesseraubjr. com or www.facebook.com/urbancowgirlsaloon.