w/ Keith Urban
Mon. Feb. 20
N. Charleston Coliseum
5001 Coliseum Dr.
"I'm one of those guys who wants to see it go," says San Antonio native Pat Green, 33. "I have an ambition bone in me that's overactive. I really want to see things go."
Green first started singing lyrics on a microphone and strumming on an acoustic guitar for small bar crowds and keg parties while in college at Texas Tech in the early '90s. Nowadays, he sells out the Astrodome.
Still struggling to find a comfortable place in one of the most profit-driven sides of the music industry, Green may have delivered his best effort in last year's Lucky Ones (Republic), his third collection for a major label. Produced by Don Gehman (R.E.M., John Mellancamp), Green's husky, heartfelt songs and anthems bounce with a brightly-polished (but not overly slick) guitar-and-snare-driven sound. While "Wave On Wave," a single of the 2003 album by the same title, hit Billboard's country music Top 10, a big follow-up hit never materialized from Lucky Ones, unfortunately.
"There's an easy way to make hits," Green says. "That's where the record label and artist have to come together and make a decision ... take the easy road or take the difficult road. To me, I want to make something that's successful and at the same time maintain the integrity and play for a long time without worrying about what people are saying.
"I really believe a more 'rock sound' is where country music is going," he adds. "If you look back about five or six years in the rock 'n' roll world, and that's kind of what the country music of today is going to sound like. If the Eagles came out today, they'd be considered a country band. If you can think ahead of the game, you're going to win more than your fair share. Also, you're going to miss sometimes. I just try to do the best I can."
Green and his longtime band — violinist Brendan Anthony, lead guitarist Brett Danaher, drummer Justin Pollard, bassist Michael Tarabay, and mandolinist/guitarist Jondan McBride — kept their schedules full and toured almost non-stop through '04 and '05, gradually building up fan and critical support. This month, they open for recent Grammy-winner Keith Urban during his swing through the Carolinas and the South behind the triple-platinum album, Be Here.
"I try to keep creative and keep on my toes and never lose perspective of what I'm trying to do," Green says. "Keith Urban and I have done quite a few shows together before. When he asked me to go out on this leg of his '06 tour, I was ecstatic. [Opening for a major headliner] is a challenge, especially since I've only had one really big hit. What I'm trying to do is make an introduction and make it stick. It's a familiarity thing. You gotta pay your dues and that's what we're doing, you know?"