By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (August 21, 2016) – City Limits Texas welcomes Tarleton students back to town Saturday, August 27. The hometown music venue’s annual Party in the Pasture also welcomes an entertainment lineup that includes some of the best on the Texas Music scene, for a show that music lovers – students or not – won’t want to miss.
Headliner William Clark Green, williamclarkgreen.com, currently calls Eastland home but said he considers the upcoming show a hometown gig. The singer/songwriter and his band of brothers are still high on the success of the last two albums – Rose Queen released in 2013 and Ringling Road which debuted in 2015 – and excited to make an appearance in Stephenville.
“It’s definitely where it all started for us,” he said, reminiscing about the early days, which also saw the rise of Stephenville-based Six Market Boulevard. “It’s especially home for us now that Josh (Serrato, formerly of Six Market Boulevard) is with us.”
The 2013 album was considered Green’s breakthrough and Ringling Road delivered much more of the songwriter’s edgy, unrelenting style. His unapologetic, straight-to-the-point tone and rhythms that sound like the best of country music doused in a cocktail of rock and roll, recently earned him a nod from Rolling Stone, making the magazine’s list of the 30 Great Country Albums of 2015 You Probably Didn’t Hear.
“If nothing else, William Clark Green’s third album, Ringling Road, proves terrestrial country radio should make room for quality Texas-country artists,” the article said. “Featuring strong hooks and a twangy rock sound, Green’s songs aren’t so different from country’s Top 10, just a little more unapologetic.
“Lead by distorted guitars and sturdy drums, Ringling Road is full of all the usual imagery — small towns, sweethearts, beers with the guys and drunk-dials after — but also unexpected nuggets dug up by Green’s gravelly voice and knack for cinematic, sometimes hilariously profane lyrics. Not profane in a gratuitous, constant F-bomb way, just in a refreshing ‘this is how people actually talk’ style.”
The hauntingly plaintive “Still Think About You,” in which the kind of sympathy Green offers an ex, laced with painfully bitter honesty: “Sorry that you fell in love with someone you could never inspire …”
“Taking uncomfortable feelings like that and putting them to paper and writing songs about them — that’s kind of been my staple, really,” Green said. “And that song is about as true as it gets.”
He’s also caught the attention of American Songwriter and Country Weekly and is marking a major milestone, growing from venues that seat 500 to 1,000 in a dozen markets.
Green in currently on his first national tour, hitting venues along the east coast and into the Midwestern United States.
“It has been a blast, Randy, Wade and Josh trailblazed the rest of the country for the rest of us,” Green said, crediting Randy Rogers, Wade Bown and Josh Abbott for the spread of the Texas Music Scene beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. “It has exploded and that is really cool for us. The scene is so busy in Texas with up and coming artists booking local venues, we have to find new places to go, where the audiences are hungry for a new sound.”
As an artist, Green is relatable, and his last performances in the Cowboy Capital were no doubt memorable. They included a Ringling Road release party at City Limits, which brought music lovers clad in over-the-top circus regalia out for a night of entertainment, and two annual appearances at Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival.
“We’ve been at the festival the last five years, hanging out with Larry Joe,” Green said. “We have made some good friends in Stephenville. It’s kind of like a second home, one of many.”
Ringling Road was officially released in April 2015. At that time, he hoped it would be better than Rose Queen, which had at least three chart-topping favorites. Green said in no time, fans started celebrating the title track, which he never imagined would be a favorite.
“There’s no way to tell what songs will be a hit or if your next album will be as successful as the last,” he said, adding the band is currently working on the fifth album and hoping more experience, more mileage and more exposure will help make the record better than the last.
“Ringling Road won’t be easy to trump,” Green said. “But we’ve been working on some really cool songs lately, taking our time on the next album.”
A Texas native, Green has been on the radar of local music lovers for years. He got his start in College Station, where he moved at about 13 years old. He also played many shows in the Lubbock area, when enrolled at Texas Tech University and made his name at the Blue Light, a hotspot in the West Texas city and a favorite of music lovers. He even resided in Stephenville for some time, where he made connections that still are serving as a foundation for success.
The Party in the Pasture lineup also includes Stephenville’s own Dolly Shine (who have announced they will no longer be touring together after Sept. 30, making this one of their last six concerts) featuring Zac McGinn, Wesley Hall, Johnny Goodson, Jerrod Flusche and Ben Hussey.
The hometown favorite, known to draw a crowd the edge of the stage, demanding another encore released Walkabout in June.
Sam Riggs is also set to take the outdoor stage. The Florida native calls Austin home and released breathless in February and has gained plenty of recognition during his career, including nods from fellow songwriters.
“Sam Riggs wears a legacy of honest country, makes good rock, writes lyrics that matter and straps on a stage presence second to none,” Ray Wylie Hubbard said.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday, August 27 at City Limits, located at 1907 East Washington Street in Stephenville. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online through an outside vendor linking through the City Limits website, citylimitstexas.com, or at the venue.