January 18, 2013

Pat Green: Doing What He Was Born To Do.

There are polarizing figures in every facet of life; Athletes, Politicians, Actors, even Teachers.  There has not been a more polarizing figure in the landscape of Texas Country over the past 20 years than Pat Green.  A skyrocketed ticket to the front and center of a musical shift of a state will do that.  And he seems just fine with that, because it could be argued no other artist has brought as much attention to the scene as he has.

In case you can’t tell which side of the argument we fall on here at Lonestar Outlaw… it’s the side for the entertainer that gives us the best escape for a couple of hours, looks like a kid on Christmas morning while on stage, and still gives us his all after nearly 2 decades into his career.

Pat Green does not only sing about getting drunk in a bar anymore.  Every other song doesn’t revolve around taking a road trip.  And no, he can’t play some of the same honkey tonks that helped him propel to stardom.  If all these were the case, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  Instead, he evolved.  Does he still go out and have a good time?  Probably so.  Is the distance of time between shows greater now in your hometown than they used to be?  More than likely.  Has he grown up right before our eyes, surely making a mistake or two along the way?  Name one person that wouldn’t have a mishap along the way while living under a microscope.  The point is Pat is still doing what he loves and what many, many, many of his fans want him to do; and that is entertaining the masses, one hit song after another.

We as music fans want to keep things the way they are, we don’t like change.   We want to be able to go to a local dive bar and see our favorite artist perform an acoustic set every Friday night.  We want to remember those times and act destroyed when that artist has the audacity to spread his wings and see what else is out there.  Yet we never equate it to our own lives.  Some people are quite content being at an entry level position their entire career, however most aspire for greater things.  But we never equate one with the other.  Artists are just like us, they want the brass ring and all the glory that comes with it.  We personally don’t want to see our favorite artist playing the same acoustic set every Friday, we want another fan to be captivated.  We want someone new to hear that artist for the first time tonight and become instantly hooked.  We want the bartenders to look forward to that artist coming to town because they know it’s going to be a packed show and a good time will be had by all.  And Pat Green embodies everything we just described.

Now off of our soapbox.  Having not seen Pat since the Stockyard Music Festival  this past September, we were more than delighted to see him at the World Famous Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth in what would be his final show of the year.  And how were we rewarded?  Three guitarists absolutely playing their hearts out, 22 songs ranging from deep in the catalog to the most recent, and even a rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.   The band even played “Girls From Texas”, a duet with Lyle Lovett from Pat’s upcoming album due out in the spring.  A Pat Green show isn’t just paying an entrance fee and seeing someone ho hum their way through a show.  It’s about being able to forget your troubles and letting yourself go.  There are still songs about Texas, but a powerful ballad with deeper meaning gets mixed in as well.  There are radio hits, but there is also the cryptic, slower, more spiritual version of “Galleywinter” that was the magical moment of the night for us.  He mixes it up so there is never a lull in the performance; even the break before the encore is condensed. 

Pat playing at Billy Bob’s around the Holidays has become a yearly tradition, one we can easily add to our growing list.  Every year the crowds get a little more diverse in age and you do start to get the feeling maybe the music has passed you by.  Then you hear the opening chords of “Southbound 35” or “Don’t Break My Heart Again” and realize your right where you should be. He doesn’t play songs that only appeal to one segment of the audience, it’s a broad, sweeping feeling that takes over the place.   So next time, let that college kid stand in front of you and scream and shout.  That was all of us not too long ago and consider it your chance of to pay it forward to a new generation.  Pat Green is always going to be around, his roots are embedded here in the Lone Star State.  And the next time your find yourself chasing a life-long dream, make sure to tell a guy like Pat Green about it. We’re sure he’ll have nothing but kind words of encouragement for you.  

Billy bob’s Texas: 12.08.12

All Just to get to you
Carry on
Don't break my heart again
Texas on my mind.
Footsteps of our fathers
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Three days
Who's to say
Feels just like it should
Southbound 35
Baby doll
Galley winter
Somewhere between Texas and Mexico
Let me

New album in the spring
First time to perform "girls from Texas" duet with Lyle Lovett

If I had a boat
$50 and a flask of crown
Take me out to the dancehall
I like Texas

Wave on wave

Find out when and where you can see Pat Green in a town near you:

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Article written by:
Matthew R. Ricketts
Senior Journalist @ LoneStar Outlaw Review

Photos courtesy of © KelleyStroutPhotography

January 4, 2013

An evening with Boland, Canada, & Knight

As if this time of year wasn’t enough to put you in a good mood, sometimes a little treat comes to town and reminds you why you love music.  You see, musicians celebrate the holidays just like the rest of us, only in a slightly different fashion.  While we turn to them for excitement and a release and to gather with our friends, they are the ones that still have to hit the pavement in order to sustain their livelihood.  But in keeping with the holiday spirit, they often break out in small groups and do scaled back tours revolving around the key ingredient, music.  In this particular instance; three men, three guitars, and a wealth of good times to share with all in attendance. 

Sitting from (stage left to right) it was Jason Blond, Cody Canada, and Chris “the ornery jubilee” Knight.  The show was set up in your traditional snake format (1,2,3, repeat) but the true delight in these shows is to have the guys almost trying to one up each other throughout the night.  “Oh, you have a song about drinking?  Well so do I”.  It is all in good spirit and the crowd is always the winner.  It almost borders on the amazing side that these gentlemen are able to retain such a catalog of knowledge when all they do is add to it year after year.  The hits were plentiful, some rarities unearthed, and a small preview of upcoming works to be released. 

Jason Boland used his usual deep baritone to inspire a two step or two while playing some favorites such as “Somewhere Down in Texas” and “False Accuser’s Lament”.  He also revealed that the next studio album will be entitled The Dark and Dirty Mile and will be released next year.  Cody Canada used his nasally growl to burn through a few CCR hits such as “Dead Man” and “51 pieces” as well as some new cuts from the Departed’s brand new album, Adventus.  Those cuts included “Worth the Fight” and “Cold Hard Fact” and were rounded out by Neil Young’s classic, “Rockin’ In The Free World”.  It is an excellent listen and if any CCR fans are still crying for a return to form after this album, then they are missing out on some amazing new stuff.  Get over it people.  This was a slight coming out party for Chris Knight.  Many people know the songs, know the man, but don’t put the two together.  If he were a baseball player, he would be referred to as the “the crafty veteran”.  He is a timeless story teller and a force to be reckoned with on stage.  Note to crowd: Mr. Knight would like your attention when he’s on stage and he damn well deserves it.  His songs translate excellently to an acoustic format and tonight was no different, playing “Down the River” and “Enough Rope”, among others.

These acoustic shows are great as we get to see the guys in their rawest element, playing the songs they love and wrote and delivering them in a much more intimate style for their fans to gain a different take on a song they may love.  Also the stories behind the songs are a great listen and often exceed the folklore that preceded them.  The Love, Conspiracy, and a .45 tour has wrapped but keep your eyes open for 10 man jams, holiday prize pack shows, and even Randy Rogers hitting the road with Sean McConnell.  One or all of these are bound to be in a city near you.  Do yourself a favor and go and remember why we all fell in love in music in the first place.   

Article by: 
Matthew R. Ricketts
Senior Journalists @ LoneStar Outlaw Review

Photos courtesy of © Kelley Strout Photography

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