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GAC Album Review: Pat Green’s Songs We Wish We’d Written II

Pat Green - Songs We Wish We'd Written II

Pat Green - Songs We Wish We'd Written II.

In 2001, Texan Pat Green released an album full of his favorite songs that spanned such diverse sounds as Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and Steve Winwood’s “Can’t Find My Way Home.” The first edition, Songs We Wish We’d Written, was done in collaboration with fellow Texas artist Cory Morrow. Pat’s now releasing the second round, Songs We Wish We’d Written II, as a solo project. The record, hitting stores May 8, is a special collection for the singer that speaks to important moments and relationships in Pat’s life.

Like the first edition, II features a very diverse group of songs and writers. Liz Rose (“If It Weren’t For You,” written with Walt Wilkins), Tom Petty  (“Even the Losers”) and rock band Collective Soul’s Ed Roland (“The World I Know,” with Brian Ross Childress) all grace the liner notes. And while artists like Tom Petty and Collective Soul aren’t generally thought of as country, Pat’s unique take on this set has the effect of bringing the tracks together to sound like a “Pat Green record.” Case in point; the re-worked version of “Even The Losers” opens with a vocal/piano intro and fiddle fills before gradually transforming into a more faithful version of Tom Petty’s original by the two-minute mark.

Pat chose different songs for different reasons. The first single, the country/rock “All Just To Get To You” (written by Joe Ely and Will Alan Sexton), is from one of Pat’s all time favorite records, Joe Ely’s Letters To Laredo. “If It Weren’t For You” and “Streets of Galilee” (Aaron Lee Tasjan) are meaningful to both Pat and his wife. Songwriter Jon Randall’s “Austin,” with a classic uptempo honky tonk rhythm section and lines like all roads lead back to Texas, inspired the singer with memories of home while out on the road.

A collaborator on the first edition in 2001, Cory Morrow has a guest spot on this project. “If I Had A Boat” (Lyle Lovett) is an easy-going tune that features shimmering acoustic notes and smile-filled lyrics like, If I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean/ And if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat. Other artists, including Ed Roland on “The World I Know” and guitarist Monte Montgomery on the bluesy southern rocker “Soulshine” (written by Warren Haynes), join Pat throughout the record. Fellow Texan Jack Ingram adds vocals on the hard-rocking “I Am Too” (written by Todd Snider and Will Kimbrough), closing out the record on a rebellious high note singing, If you’re looking for some trouble, baby, I am too.

Songs We Wish We’d Written II is an entertaining album that showcases many of Pat’s favorite songs and songwriters. While the tracks are drawn from a very diverse group of originals, Pat re-interprets them here to incorporate his unique vision. Songs like “Jesus On A Greyhound” (written by Glen Ballard and Shelby Lynne) carry the unmistakable sound that Pat’s fans have come to know. It’s evident that Pat loves these songs, and his energy shines through as he both honors the originals and adds his own voice.

Key tracks – “Austin,” “Soulshine,” “I Am Too,” “Jesus On A Greyhound”

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