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.
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.
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. 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.”
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.
“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.”