The Texas-based star returns with an album to remind fans he’s never really left.
Texas native Pat Green, arguably the most successful of the many artists inhabiting the Texas Country realm of the past 15 years, is dealing with the dilemma of time perhaps not being on his side. That hasn’t really been an issue since he began actively performing in 1995, on through to his last studio album, 2009’s What I’m For. His new album, Home, is released this Friday, and Green is ready to put his voice back out there.
“While I do think any project I undertake is a statement, I realize it has been years since my last record,” Green says from his Fort Worth home on a quiet morning, with a hint of a nervous chuckle. “I know that if I don’t make a real statement now, with this new record, anything I might do in the future could fall on deaf ears.”
In the years since that last album for BNA Records, which yielded three Billboard Country Top 40 singles, Green has remained a popular draw at festivals and in the largest clubs and honky-tonks in Texas and well beyond. But with the emergence of a newer generation of successful, Lone Star-flag-waving artists packing rooms, signing to major record labels, and getting heard on the radio regularly, Green grasps that it’s high time to reacquaint himself with the adventurous type of country fan he attracted with ease so many years ago. Given that he’s independently releasing this new record, his finest since his 2004 LP, Lucky Ones, it’s a bet he truly hopes pays off.
“I don’t know if it’s a matter of any fans leaving me,” he says. “But I would say that I want to energize the fans that have stuck with me for so many years. There have been one and a half groups of high school kids graduate from college since I last put a record out. Those people are discovering younger artists such as William Clark Green and even Wade Bowen, so there’s plenty of people for me to introduce myself to out there.”
Unlike some of Green’s contemporaries who even into their 40s still offer up party songs about floating the river or chasing girls who change tires while still looking supermodel pretty, Home is a grown-up album made by an artist comfortable at this stage in life as a husband and father.
“There are plenty of people that will stick with a formula that works for them,” Green says. “But that’s not me. I was a big Beatles fan growing up, and I loved seeing how they changed from ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ to ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.’ That’s a really long way for an artist to go with a style. There’s a huge difference in my first record and this new one, in terms of what I write about and how I hear things.”
The album’s filled with star power, featuring contributions from Sheryl Crow, Delbert McClinton, and Lyle Lovett, among others. But it’s the record’s strongest heart-tugger, the Zane Williams-penned “While I Was Away” (watch the video here) that most vividly paints a real-life landscape. More significantly, it’s a tune that can only be effectively offered by someone who’s lived the tear-shedding moments in the song. As for the album’s primary mission statement, however, look no further than the title to understand what Green is really aiming for, both on the record and in his own life overall.
“I wrote ‘Home’ during a time in my life when I was ready to not make a record for a major label, or a committee of people,” he says. “This is a record I made with my band on my home turf without other people telling me what to do. For me, it’s a keep-on-moving kind of thing.”