Some cowboys don1t need the blues
The cowboy gets the girl, and everyone lives happily ever after.
That1s life in a Pat Green song. The Austin-based singer/songwriter has been crooning his original songs to crowds from California to New York of late.
3Whenever I get to writing, it1s typically happy,” said Green. 3The cowboy rides away with the girl, and the bad guys are all dead. That1s the kind of songs I write. I don’t have a big dark deep side. That1s one of the things I have to admit. I am an optimist. I have no room in my life for negativity.²
The country kid was raised in Waco and fell in love with the musicals his stage-actor father starred in. His preference ran to 3corny ones,² such as 3Sound of Music² and 3My Fair Lady.²
But instead of setting his sights on following in his father1s footsteps, he became a country star.
3If there is any musician I want to emulate, it1s Willie,² said Green. 3Willie has always done what he wanted with his music and people have responded. He1s been doing this for a long, long time. I don1t believe stars are made or hits are produced. Hit songs are written and the artists aren1t shaped or formed, they are who they are. Willie Nelson is a perfect example of that.² 3Threadbare Gypsy Soul,² a solo composition for Green, was inspired by Nelson and other artists who have been instrumental in Green1s career.
3I was sitting on the back of the bus traveling from one show to another and I started thinking about Willie and Jerry Jeff Walker and Robert Earl Keen,² Green said. 3I wanted to show them how much I appreciated them. I had a pretty cool chord arrangement going and started thinking about Willie Nelson1s shoes. I mean, just think about all the places and things his shoes have seen, from the top of the White House to walking around some square in Amsterdam to China and wherever else he1s been. Willie1s had an amazing life and career.²
Green was ecstatic when Nelson agreed to sing with him on 3Threadbare Gypsy Soul.² He cites that experience as one of the happiest in his career.
Like all good musicians, he started playing the guitar to pick up chicks.
3Before that, I only sang in the shower,² he said. 3I could mimic other people1s voices. It took me a long time to find my own voice, but once I did I became very comfortable with it. It1s not real pretty but it1s believable.²
He began opening for other artists, and in 1995, he put out his first independent record. Future Dixie Chick Natalie Maines sang on it. His popularity began to grow as he kicked out several more records.
3I don1t know exactly where it began, if it was Willie Nelson1s picnic or one of Jerry Jeff1s shows, but I got asked to play and there was a huge crowd there,² said Green. 3After that show, we started getting some radio support. All of a sudden, everything started happening at once. We were selling a ton of records. We were able sell out Billy Bob1s. In Dallas/Fort Worth we were selling 4… 5… 6,000 seats. In Houston and everywhere else it started being 1 and 2,000 seats. It just started steamrolling. I think it was a combination of the popularity of Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson leading the forefront for us little guys. We just all fell in line behind them.²
Green1s major-label debut, 3Three Days,² features 13 tracks, nine of which he wrote or co-wrote. He waited a long time to sign with a major label because he wanted to maintain total autonomy over his music.
Green wrote the title cut with Radney Foster. One of Green1s favorite cuts is 3Who1s To Say,² written with Walt Wilkins and Mark Winston Kirk.
3OWho’s To Say1 is kind of a slam back to people who say I write a lot of songs about drinking beer and being happy,² said Green. 3My comment back to them is, OWho are you to judge me? Enjoy yourself and lighten up.1 I have a deep responsibility to my job. People don1t go out and see concerts and buy records because they want to think about work or other stresses in their lives. They listen to music to relax, to get away from things that have been dumped on them. They also associate music with times during their lives. It1s my job to make sure that they have those memories, and to foster their creativity and love and joy. Music is there to perpetuate what is happening in their lives and see them through it.²
Pat Green plays at Half Moon Saloon today at 10 p.m. Call 476-4314 for more information.