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  02/23/2009            
What I'm For - Pat Green Some Good tunes, but considering that it was my local am station out of Drumheller AB that turned me on to Pat Green some years ago with Threadbare Gypsy Soul and Carry On, not at all pleased with the wussification of Carry On just for the sake of a rerelease.
Pat Green  02/22/2009            
some great songs: footstep of our fathers and what i'm for. but come on, country star? ur bigger than most of those nashville fags in that song. like ragweed says...Scratch you and scratch nashville i'm leaving tennessee
Pat Green  02/20/2009            
billboards & BS got me down?? Come down to "my place"?????What happened to texas???? What happened to Walt Wilkins???? I am willing to bet that everybody doesn't need a little hill country? Is this remake a slap in the face to all the texans that used to Think you were the greatest thing since willy?
Pat Green  02/11/2009            
I will first admit that I truly love his older stuff (i.e. before Lucky Ones) However, I do really enjoy the new album. It makes me sick to see people who bash Pat for the way his career has taken off. I am for one extremely happy for him. His sound changed, but he has matured as an artist over the years and continues to put on great shows and put out great music. I salute you Pat Green...keep up the good work
Pat Green  02/08/2009            
go on and move to Nashville Pat, Texas doesn't want you anymore.
Pat Green  02/06/2009            
Pat you need to hang it up already. Ever since you went "Nashville" everything has went down hill for you. What were you thinking when you remade Carry On? That was the stuipidest thing you could of done. You nashvilled it. Thats not a nashville song. Forget those stupid yankees and come back to Texas. By the way the new CD was thrown out the window after about ten minutes of listening to it.
Pat Green  02/06/2009            
Pat, it's not that we don't appreciate what you have done for Texas music, but there are many artists that could easily go get a big money label contract and go for the dollars. I know you did what you had to do, but it just seems no one stays true to their roots and tradition anymore. The people in Texas made you as big as you are. Had they not come out to your shows in Texas all those years, you wouldn't be close to Nashville. All we ask is that you be Pat Green and not a music row, Trashville suckup. Don't tour with Chucky Cheesney, and Flascal Ratts. The money is one thing, but selling out your creativity and individualism is another. Aaron Watson took your place as the leader in Texas music anyways. We are all good. It's okay I still listen to my Pat Green cd's before Lucky Ones.
Pat Green  02/04/2009            
i am tired of hearing all this pat green bashing. i know alot of people dont like the new stuff thats fine with me. there is a solution stop listening to him! if you dont like it then just cut it out of your life. there is no need to waste time bashing this man. he is a great artist that did start out playin dives but now has grown up and started writing about how his life is now. he went to nashville so what? that makes him a bad artist. you dont think that other texas artists care about money? all of them is what makes the world go round. congradulations pat and good luck on future records. still love the music and will always be a fan.
Pat Green  02/04/2009            
Great CD!! I love every song on it. Pat has come and long ways and I'm glad his music has grown. I really get tired of artists putting out the same CD over and over again. I like the new and the old. The older music reminds me of my younger days and the newer reminds me of where I am now. Thanks, Pat!!!
Pat Green  02/02/2009            
christina in shreveport
From the first time i saw Pat Green at the Tumbleweed in Stillwater, through the times I listened to him driving to San Antonio and now as i just got his new cd, I've been a huge fan and I will continue to be. The first time I heard 'Let Me' was while I was still stationed in Texas a few months ago and I crossed my fingers that I wouldn't be deployed when the cd finally came out just so I could be first in line to get it. I hate to read the bad reviews and I believe that the people who have submitted them have done so only because they see other people doing it. Thank you Pat Green for putting music out there and writing songs for us to listen and relate to and thank you for new songs that don't simply recreate older ones. I can't wait to catch you in concert again and I'll be spinning this new cd down every road I go down.
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