William Clark Green - Live at Gruene Hall
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Live at Gruene Hall (Bill Grease Records, 2017)

William Clark Green

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

Flint, Texas-based singer/songwriter William Clark Green's 18-track live set from a pair of shows in January 2016 is an entertaining collection of hard edged alt.-country. He is at his best on country rockers such as "Sympathy" and "Rose Queen," the latter showcasing hot lead guitar work from Josh Serrato and Steven Marcus.

The rock influence is evident with "She Likes the Beatles," in which Green breaks into snippets of The Beatles' "A Little Help From My Friends" and The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up," as well as "Hanging Around" morphing into Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." The trippy "Ringling Road" is a nod to psychedelia with its references to opium and cocaine.

Green also displays a mellow side with the ballad "Final This Time" featuring Nashville singer/songwriter Dani Flowers on the tune they co-wrote. To close out the set, Green reveals that his two favorite records of all time were live albums recorded at Gruene Hall by Jerry Jeff Walker and Jack Ingram, and is then joined onstage by Ingram for an acoustic duet of Ingram's "Goodnight Moon."

Green effectively engages with the audience throughout, particularly on "Wishing Well" in which he pontificates on the virtues of the Texas music scene from the perspective of both the artists and the fans ("We write our own music here in Texas because we have a fan base that cares about stuff like that").

In addition to Serrato and Marcus the musicianship is stellar with Cameron Moreland (bass) and Sawyer McGee (drums) and guest appearances from Randall Clay and Ross Cooper. With Green's solid tunes and gritty, soulful vocals and strong performances from his supporting cast, "Live at Gruene Hall" is a fun listen.

CDs by William Clark Green

Live at Gruene Hall, 2016 Ringling Road, 2015 Rose Queen, 2013

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