Did Pat Green save country music? That is a contentious question no matter on which side of the Red River you're standing, but it's also a little beside the point. Nurtured by the storytelling culture of legendary Central Texas singer-songwriter rooms like New Braunfels' Gruene Hall and San Marcos' Cheatham Street Warehouse, Green's high-octane but sensitive music was exactly what a lot of beer-drinking young Texans wanted to hear in the late '90s. Fans flocked to his shows in droves, but also others like him such as Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow and Jack Ingram.
In short order, Green had jumped to a major label (Universal, for 2001's Three Days) and, along with his peers, gave rise to a specific brand alternately known as Texas country and Red Dirt that continues to do blockbuster ticket sales across the Southwest, in venues from Billy Bob's in Fort Worth (where Green hosts an annual Christmas show) and Midnight Rodeo in Austin to the pair of Big Texas dancehall/saloons in Spring and Clear Lake.
Now the man who grew up admiring Robert Earl Keen and Jerry Jeff Walker has found himself passing the Texas country torch to Randy Rogers, Roger Creager, Josh Abbott and many others, but the Waco native is barely 40 himself.