When Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth profiled Pat Green in 2002, he found him to be a rowdy, bar-hopping, beer-loving guy with a rabid youthful following. Critics hadn’t been too kind to the songwriter, with early reviews critiquing his lyrics as pandering to the good people of Texas. Hollandsworth’s assessment was a little different: “Green is a Texas version of Jimmy Buffett,” he wrote. “A good-natured guy who looks like most of the men in his audience, who takes off his boots and plays barefoot, and who bangs out easy-to-sing-along songs about the Lone Star State as a laid-back, freewheeling paradise.”
What’s wrong with that, y’all? As Hollandsworth discovered, fans couldn’t get enough of Green, and it seems they still can’t: Fifteen years, six studio albums, and thousands of tour dates later, Green is getting a tribute album, Dancehall Dreamin’: A Tribute to Pat Green.
On Dancehall Dreamin’, ten of Green’s songs are reinterpreted by fellow Texas country music icons, including Aaron Watson, Jack Ingram, and the Randy Rogers Band. Green narrates the second half of the album, revealing the stories and motivations behind some of the tracks from his discography. It’s an intimate look at his career, told through Green and the people he has found kinship with over the years: fellow artists.
“We stick together,” Green says of his Texas country cohort. “You write the culture that’s around you. We tour together. We know each other’s friends, families, and band members. It’s a tight-knit group and I feel honored that they would take the time out of their lives to sing something that I wrote.”
Green’s friend Aaron Watson offers up a heartfelt cover of “Crazy,” from his 2001 debut album Three Days, which is featured exclusively below and available to the public for free on Friday—fittingly, Texas Independence Day. “My first Pat Green show was twenty years ago in San Angelo at Blaine’s Pub, and I’ve been a fan ever since,” Watson says. “Pat has plowed a path for so many artists like myself. I’m so honored to sing on his record and honored to call him my friend.”
The respect between the two musicians is mutual. “Aaron Watson is the most stable man I know,” Green says. “I’ve never heard him say a cuss word in my life; he’s the kind of guy that says ‘dang it’ or ‘shoot.’ If my kids end up like Aaron, I’ll be pretty pleased.”
Fans can preorder the album starting March 2. Dancehall Dreamin’ comes out on April 5, Green’s birthday.