Editors’ Notes Live at Billy Bob’s Texas captures Pat Green on the rise, showing off his chops as a roadhouse entertainer as he prepares to plunge into the Nashville music machine. This 1999 release — recorded before a yowling audience at Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic — offers a good sampling of his early repertoire, one steeped in the noble Lone Star singer/songwriter tradition. Green pays explicit tribute to his musical heroes in “Nightmare” and “Songs About Texas,” but whether the song celebrates Southern culture (“Here We Go”), phone sex (“1-900-Lover”) or the general joys of being alive (“Just Fine”), Pat and his blazing band have no trouble sustaining momentum throughout. Dixie-fried stompers like “Southbound 35” and “Me and Billy the Kid” compliment nicely wistful ballads like “Dancehall Dreamer” and “If I Had a Million.” The rousing story-song “George’s Bar” is a fine example of Green’s skill at fusing populist storytelling with accessible country-rock. Live at Billy Bob’s Texas is Green’s music undiluted by commercial concerns, served smoking hot.

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