It has been a long, winding road for country singer Pat Green, which might explain his recent departure off the beaten path.
Green got his start playing in the honky-tonks across the Lone Star State while a student at Texas Tech University, eventually receiving the attention of Willie Nelson and, soon after, the figureheads of the more mainstream Nashville country scene.
A major label deal with Universal Records, a gold-selling disc, several smash country singles (“Wave on Wave,” “Feels Just Like It Should” and “Let Me,” among others) and tours in support of megastars like Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney followed. But after his 2009 album, What I’m For, Green sought out more peaceful pastures.
“I just left,” Green said. “I didn’t leave the Texas Country world or the Nashville scene. I just left it all. I enjoy living my life the way I want to live, and I don’t really appreciate being told how to live. I needed a change.”
It wasn’t that he fell out of love with music — his continued gigs across Texas and Oklahoma attest to that — but he just needed to start pursuing things on his terms.
“Everyone invents their own chaos. There are people who love making music on a record label. I just don’t think that music is meant to be forced,” Green said. “If you tell someone how to make music, you are injecting your personality on someone else’s creativity, and I think that’s a mistake. You know? No one told Picasso how to paint. Record labels love to do that.”
So he recently finished his eighth original studio album, the aptly titled Home, which will present Green as exactly who he is.
“My creativity is progressing, hopefully. It’s not so much different. To say it’s different would imply that I’m a different person now, but I’m the same guy,” he said. “The music and songwriting have progressed, but it’s from the same place. Emotionally, I’m able to speak honestly and freely. As a younger man, I didn’t know what my emotions were. Everything was a very loud, white noise.”
Playing Friday night at Wormy Dog Saloon, Green is in no rush to put out Home, vowing to take things as they come and letting everything unfold as it should.
“I’m not in a hurry. I’ve learned the moment I get in a hurry is the same moment that I fuck up,” he said. “We’ll see what happens, but there’s only two things I know for sure: There is a god, and I’m not him. And I’m going to let him have the reins here for a bit.”