Pat Green, one of Texas country’s modern-era founding fathers, plays the Vilar
- Who: Pat Green, with opener JD Clayton
- When: 7 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
- Tickets: Starting at $45
- More info: VilarPAC.org
About 25 years ago, Pat Green paved his musical path on his own terms, and he continues to do so today.
Before Texas country was ever a “thing,” Green wanted to be like some of the legends: Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson and Robert Earl Keen.
He knew it’d be difficult to break into mainstream country music in Nashville, but he also knew that, at the time, Texas residents bought 65% of country music, so if he made an impression throughout college towns and dancehall scenes in the state, he’d create “a footprint in Texas and would have an easier path, and I could walk into Nashville and write my own ticket,” he said.
He didn’t know he also was on the way to becoming one of Texas country’s modern-era founding fathers through his signature blend of Southwestern country, songwriting poetry and rebellious rock; he was just being true to himself.
“There wasn’t an entity called Texas music. We just kind of made it up,” Green said. “It was a pretty good plan that actually turned out.”
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Since then, he’s become a bit of a poster child for Texas music, with more than 2 million albums sold, three Grammy nominations, and, of course, a sold-out show at the Houston Astrodome.
These days, he’s touring in support of his 2022 album, “Miles and Miles of You.”
Very early in his career, Green decided to only release albums he completely believes in, rather than churning out records on demand. So, it’s been seven years since his last album, not to mention a pandemic, which ushered him into the darkest place he had ever experienced in his life.
After shutdowns, he suddenly went from performing a hundred shows a year and doing publicity appearances to sinking into the couch for about nine months.
“I’m used to being around a lot of people, and I like it. Take that away from me, and I’m devastated,” he said.
His wife of 23 years, whom he calls his savior, his muse and the voice of reason, finally told him to get out of the house and “go make a record.” And that’s exactly what he did. He began by hosting his band in his “retirement” and second home in Steamboat, where they all started writing songs. The band then traveled outside of Austin (where they literally had food helicoptered in by people wearing hazmat suits) to record the album with producer Dwight Baker.
With previous albums, Green has called in special musicians for instrumentation — he has access to the best — but the pandemic prohibited that, so he relied on his solid band members.
“The band is as strong as it has always been, but it took (a pandemic) to bond and study each other and get much closer,” he said.
And to record a stunning album.
“It’s very organic, and it tells the truth,” he said. “It’s whimsical, it’s autobiographical and it’s romantic. It’s a complete record. The music is great, and the songs are great.”
The first song Green wrote, “Steady,” is a soothing country tribute to his wife, Kori.
“‘Steady’ was the first one where I remember going, ‘OK, I can do this again. I can express my feelings about something,'” he said.
The creativity just flowed from there, transforming emotion into country balladry, dancehall energy, soul-baring reflection and a bit of swampy blues strut, as described on his website.
As Green has grown, his perspectives have changed, and this latest album highlights his resilience, maturity and journey from turmoil to triumph.
“That’s what this record is — a guy with more to think about, coming through a hard time and into something as fun and beautiful as creation,” he said.
And, now that he’s back on the road, he sums up his energetic shows simply:”I give it everything I got every night I go out there.”