American country music has become popular around the world and is generally associated with the city of Nashville, Tennessee, but many of the most popular artists come from a thriving music scene in the state of Texas. One of the up-and-coming singer/songwriters who launched his career in Texas is Pat Green, whose current recording Wave on Wave is rising on country charts.
Pat Green's latest recording is getting airplay on country stations nationwide and he and his band are playing to sold-out halls from California to New York. It is a long way from the college circuit in Texas that Pat Green once claimed as his natural turf. He finds himself a rising star nationally and a super-star back in his home state of Texas.
"I have seen that we sold out the Astrodome and that says to me that this music has a chance, and I am not saying it is a guaranteed chance, because in the music business crowds are fickle," he said. "But this says to me that this music has a chance to go out there and bring the same kind of attention and numbers in other states and other corners of the world."
What Pat Green brings on stage is not only his talent as a singer, songwriter, and musician, but a good dose of Texas spirit. His Texas fans will jump up and shout, dance in the aisles and, as they would put it "raise a ruckus" while he plays.
He says people in different parts of the country respond in different ways to the energy and spirit he and Texas musicians bring to the stage. "I have found that in California people are really cool and they have to act cool. They will holler, but they are still cool about it," he said. "The northeast is a lot like home, they are really loud, boisterous people. The Midwest is kind of a mix of things."
Many of Pat Green's early songs reflect the love and pride he feels for the Lone Star state. He was born in San Antonio and grew up in Waco. At the age of 18, while attending Texas Tech University in the west-Texas city of Lubbock he started his singing career playing in small clubs. In 1995 he borrowed money from family and friends to record his first album, Dancehall Dreamer.
Pat Green went on to build a solid fan base all across Texas and recorded more of his own songs along the way. As an independent, grassroots recording artist he sold 300,000 albums and started attracting attention outside Texas.
He was offered record deals in Nashville, but he turned down anything that he believed would compromise his identity and his creative freedom. In 2001, Pat Green signed with New York-based Republic Records and has recorded two albums with that company.
While most of what Pat Green records and sings is his own material, he is well-grounded in country traditions. Along with his friend and fellow singer/songwriter Cory Morrow he recorded an album called Songs We Wish We Had Written, featuring selections by such country stars as Merle Haggard and the late Waylon Jennings.
Now, with his rise to fame, Pat Green says he has the opportunity to mix in the company of some of the giants he so admires. "Running around with guys like Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker and getting to know their personalities and getting to know them personally, it is like a new fascination I get to have in this business that I really cherish," he said.
Pat Green's is now on a nationwide tour, bringing his Texas-style and his creative talent to people across the country.