Monday, February 28, 2011

And Another Thing ...

Hello Readers! It's a cold, cold Toronto area night tonight. I'm back in town after the Boston excursion for the Pat Green/Wade Bowen show. That show is still fresh in my mind, and I feel I have to write one last piece before putting this topic to be for a little while.

This show was my second Texas/Red Dirt music-based show. The first one was a great introduction, the final show of Cross Canadian Ragweed (check out the review here). As mentioned in my previous column, the show played by Pat Green and Wade Bowen was another fantastic night of great Texas music. But the one thing I have noticed that's consistent at both shows, is the camaraderie of the performers of the Red Dirt Trail.

I'll give you an example. When Wade Bowen finished his opening set and turned to leave the stage, he was greeted with a hug by none other than the headliner, Pat Green. About 10 minutes in to Pat's set, he did a fantastic job of putting Wade over with the crowd. Pat uttered a statement I've never heard at a concert before, where he said "I love Wade Bowen with all my heart. Wade is better ... Wade's better than me and I'm so thrilled he's here with us tonight." It's a common theme that I've noticed amongst the performers of this music scene. Cody Canada had similar kind words to say not just about Wade Bowen at their final show in Chicago, but also with fellow performers Stony Larue and Lee Ann Womack. It's a unique bond that you can tell exists between these talented musicians. I think they all know how fortunate they are to play their own brand of country/Americana/Texas/whatever style of music they want to play, in front of the most appreciative and supportive crowds I've had the pleasure to be a part of. Truly, this is something special and unique on the music scene today. It's wonderful.

The bond doesn't stop with the performers. The bond exists between the performer and the audience. For the past two columns, I've lamented the fact that Pat Green sadly hadn't connected at radio with more of his albums and single releases. But I will say this. Pat appears to be more at home playing the large clubs where he can interact with the people. His personality shone through at the House of Blues last Thursday. He was having so much fun with the band, with the crowd, with his buddy Wade, with the whole experience. I remember seeing Pat Green a number of years ago as he opened up for Kenny Chesney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for one of Kenny's stadium shows. Pat was excellent, but the personal nature of his show wasn't there. Granted, it's tougher to be more personable in front of a half-full stadium when the bulk of the crowd is there to see Kenny Chesney. Pat was playing to about 25,000 people at that moment, not the 1,000 that was at the House of Blues. But Pat seemed more comfortable being at the House of Blues. He was allowed to be "Pat Green", or as the crowd chanted on more than one occasion, "Pat F***in' Green."

So perhaps, it's a blessing that Pat didn't strike the big time with his foray on to major record labels. He was able to take his music to a national level and certainly gained notoriety that will take him across North America to throngs of people. This is just my opinion, but I think artists like Pat Green deep down are happy their career takes them to these venues, where they can be one-on-one with the people. It's tough to do it at the big stadiums and arenas. We as fans benefit too, because I will say this, there is nothing like being at a Texas music show. It's something special, a feeling that can't really be described until you go and experience it yourself. And when you go to experience that feeling at the church that is Texas music, be sure to check out the High Priest of Texas Music, Pat Green.

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