Pat Green

Pat Green
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It’s impossible to know your limits without testing them.

It’s a truth that Pat Green has employed in his career, one that has propelled him to repeatedly refashion his sound, his approach and his own perception of who he is.

He’s simultaneously a Grammy-nominated hit maker with an outsider reputation, a Texas inspiration and a mainstream country artist who can rock arena and stadium stages with the likes of Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney.

Each of those roles has its own place. But each of them is too small to define Pat Green, who after 15 years in the recording business has earned the right to be everything Pat Green can be. Without limitations.

“I’d much rather be me and comfortable in my own skin than trying to be five different guys to get to the top,” he says.

In fact, after building a reputation as an ace songwriter of his own material, Green is fighting even that limitation with Songs We Wish We’d Written II, a sequel to a 2001 album he recorded with longtime friend—and fellow Texan—Cory Morrow.

Stocked with music penned by the likes of Lyle Lovett, Tom Petty, Shelby Lynne and Jon Randall, the disc—Green’s first for the acclaimed Sugar Hill label—mixes country, rock and blues in a manner that defies categorization. Petty’s “Even The Losers” and Collective Soul’s “The World I Know” will be familiar to just about anyone who gives the album a listen. Others, such as Aaron Lee Tasjan’s quirky “Streets Of Galilee” and Todd Snider’s burning “I Am Too,” are introductions from the underground to a large majority of music fans.

Songs We Wish We’d Written II is an expansive step in Green’s ongoing development. By piecing together songs from a variety of writers, he was able to assemble an album that reflects the multiple genres that influence him as an artist. The source of the songs wasn’t as important as the quality of the music and its ability to connect with Green’s maturing sense of his craft.

“If you listen to my young music or anybody’s young music, it’s all over the place,” he suggests. “It sounds like that because the thoughts are all over the place. You were sleeping on mattresses on the floor, the TV was on a cinderblock – that’s all cool. That’s all we needed, then. Now, I’ve grown up a bit.  As my life has evolves, my taste for music continues to evolve with it.”

While Green was looking for songs for the album from outside sources, he was adamant about recording music that ultimately seemed designed specifically for him and his band. With drummer Justin Pollard co-producing, Green drew up an initial list of 10 titles and recorded them during a concentrated week of sessions in Austin. They tracked another five in Tyler, Texas, then culled the best to get the final 10 cuts on Songs We Wish We’d Written II, creating a cohesive package from disparate sources.

“We all just sat around discussing and if somebody’s idea would sound better than my idea, I’d get fixated on it,” Green says. “I would very much encourage them to bring an idea. For instance, the Walt Wilkins song ‘If It Weren’t For You,’ that was somebody else’s idea completely. There were all kinds of ideas going around from Genesis and Peter Gabriel, Colin Hay from Men at Work – all kinds of crazy stuff from the ‘80s. Of course, we ended up with Petty from 1979.”

They also ended up with a stellar list of guests. Collective Soul’s Ed Roland brings an authentic cynicism to “The World I Know,” Jack Ingram’s threads a snarling desperation into “I Am Too,” Cory Morrow adds a craggy earthiness to “If I Had A Boat,” and former Sons of the Desert member Drew Womack adds a smooth, Vince Gill-like presence as a backing vocalist on the driving “Austin.”

Monte Montgomery provides a thick, expressive blues voice on the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine” and trades licks with Green’s guitarist, Chris Skrobot, in some of the most riveting moments on Written II, with their dueling lines careening like pinballs.

Skrobot also introduced Green to Aaron Lee Tasjan, who’s something of a new discovery on the album. Tasjan’s “Streets Of Galilee” combines a seemingly random parade of images into an escapist story while Tasjan makes a wry vocal appearance, adding an ethereal presence in the mold of AAA talent Brett Dennen.

“Aaron is a super guy, an amazing talent, and he has a band in New York called The Madison Square Gardeners, so he’s obviously a very funny, very clever human being,” Green assesses. “He’s definitely the kind of writer I really enjoy listening to.”

“Galilee,” “Soulshine,” “Jesus On A Greyhound” and the imagery in “Austin” combine to form a spiritual undercurrent on the album akin to the message of Green’s biggest hit, “Wave On Wave.” It’s appropriate – Green spent much of the last two years searching his conscience as he battles the prism of limitations that were created by his own successes in Texas, and on a national stage.

And in a way, Songs We Wish We’d Written II is the first chapter in the next act of his career.

“There’s a man inside of me now that didn’t used to live here, whereas there was only a boy before,” he says. “The boy was so strong and had done so much, so I’m kind of seeing things in a new way. The last couple years have really been an eye opener, much more intense and richer.”

That’s a large statement – Green’s life and career have already been filled with rich experiences. He’s co-written songs with Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jewel and Rob Thomas. Appeared on such national TV shows as Austin City Limits, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show With David Letterman. Been hailed by Billboard, USA Today, Esquire, People and Country Weekly. Toured with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and the Dave Matthews Band. And become a concert force in his own right, regularly selling out venues from Los Angeles to New York, where he’s now sold out his last seven appearances.

All of that is impressive. But it’s also history. As much as he appreciates it, Green puts it in his place on his cover of “Even The Losers,” where he highlights a lyric that Petty obscured in the original: “It’s such a drag when you’re living in the past.”

Green may be recognized for those past achievements, but he doesn’t intend to be limited by them as he continues to progress creatively. And that progress will come by simply testing what it means to be Pat Green.

“I want to be me,” he says. “There are so many people who live with so many masters in their lives. I really just need one.”

Date Venue City State Note
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07/12/2011 - Pat Green Talks About The Business Of Music - Read More
04/06/2011 - Going Green: Country Singer Pat Green Headlines Polo on the Prairie  - Read More
02/16/2011 - Pat Green Finds Contentment  - Read More
12/09/2010 - It's a Green party at Billy Bob's Texas - Read More
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06/02/2003 - Pat Green Q&A - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 1214

Pat Green  07/30/2009            
Listened to a few of his songs and they are terrible. it's not that I think he sold out...he did. it is just that he tries to make a song that everyone likes rather than one that he likes. Stop trying to impress everyone.
Pat Green  07/29/2009            
All I have to say is if you compare this to his older stuff, there's no way you can say it's more than 1 star.
Pat Green  07/29/2009            
I really get upset reading ppl say Pat "sold out" or whatever. People said the same thing back when Metallica "hit big" or whatever you wanna call it. Just because an artist starts getting played more, on more stations than before...and more and more people start listening to them....isn't this what artists DREAM to acheive??? I have been and will continue to be a PG fan, I still love his music and lyrics. He is an original "TX country" artist who paved the way for this movement of music. Keep on, Pat! love ya in Weatherford!
Pat Green  07/08/2009            
Pat Green  07/07/2009            
shsu rules
I must say, complete sell out!!! but the reason i keep it from being one star is the fact that Pat still writes most of his music. so the songwriter is still there and he had 80+ songs to pick from and the record guys picked these (according to his interview on Sirius) So, he went to nashville to make the big bucks, everyone in their job field will go to where the money is, just the way of life. so i dont blame him for that just dont dont turn and burn or piss on your fan base that made you who you are. Come on was it really neccessary to remake Carry On and take the soul and fame out of it??? Then on Sirius when youre being interviewed and bad mouth the fans cause they are saying you sold out, heck didn't he write a song with the lyrics, "I gave up on Nashville a long time ago". just defending yourself when being bad mouth, got it, but it doesn't mean the words aren't true, truth hurts. Now i still tip my hat to him cause he helped put the TX Music Scene where its at giving us many of singers/bands to fill his shoes when he left for the money and national fame (and drank the record guys kool-aid).
Pat Green  07/06/2009            
I am from Utah and I agree that since he went to Nashville his music changed. Pat the only reason I liked your music was cause it was different, it was country. Pard Nashiville aint country, they are plastic and they are wanna bees. Get back to your roots pal you'll sell more records.
Pat Green  06/23/2009            
There are crazier opinions out there. A certain Mr. Pat G. seems to think that "What I'm For" is the best Pat Green CD ever.
Pat Green  06/22/2009            
a.t. jones
ok i may be a little behind here but whoever said that the wave on wave cd was pats best period must be a new fan. Please go buy the dancehall dreamer cd or anything before wave on wave on reconsider that statement. you must not have known any better. we wont hold it against you. ignorance is bliss i guess!
Pat Green  06/16/2009            
Becki Adams
As per usual Pat gives an outstanding show!! I got to see him at Lumiere Place in St. Louis, and in Nashville and Alabama a couple months before that. The show in Nashville ROCKED!! I LOVE the new cd, it sounds even better LIVE!! Pat- there's so much versatility to your style, I think the possibilities are infinite! I really like the way you redid "Carry On". Looking forward to the Bonner Springs show. LOVE YOU PAT!! PAT GREEN ROCKS!!!
Pat Green  06/08/2009            
The Texas sound might be a little water downed but thank goodness the sound of Texas is making it out of Texas and Oklahoma. I live in North Dakota now and there is nothing better than hearing an old Texas favorite on my makes home seem just a little close. I think everyone should hop off the bandwagon of hate and start appreciating what Pat Green has done for our favorite kind of music. Besides I'm pretty sure all your mama's taught you if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.
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