It’s hard to think of any Texas artist, or country artist in general, that feels as underrated as William Clark Green.
The legendary Texas troubadour has long been revered as a spectacular songwriter and performer, both regionally and nationally, for the better part of his 15+ year career.
Through his individual work as well as his work with the newer Texas country supergroup The Panhandlers, Green has amassed a deep and diverse catalog full of entertaining stories, witty lyricism, and plenty of tracks that’ll pull on your heartstrings.
He’s put out so many great records like Rose Queen, Ringling Road, Hebert Island and more, and has become a fixture in the Texas music scene for a decade and a half now.
While he’s never had a ton of commercial or mainstream success, he has a dedicated and large following in the Lone Star state and even beyond, and has made a career mostly playing that circuit and delivering amazing records in the process.
And a while back, WCG was on the Jarrod Morris Vibe Podcast, where he got very candid about what it’s like when young up-and-comers start to pass you by in terms of festival billing and those kinds of things.
Specifically, he noted two superstars who cut their teeth in the Texas music scene opening for guys just like WCG in Koe Wetzel and Parker McCollum.
Now both signed to major labels and selling out venues all over the country, with both Gold and Platinum records to their name, Parker and Koe sort of modeled what it’s like for a Texas artist to breakout into the mainstream and find success far beyond their home state in this era of country music.
While certainly a good thing for all of the artists in Texas, because a rising tide raises all ships, so to speak, WCG admitted that it was “a very tough pill to swallow” when the two of them started to “pass [him] by”:
“Dude, I’m telling you, watching Koe and Parker pass us by, it’s a very tough pill to swallow. Especially when it first starts happening, because you’re like, they’re gonna put them ahead us on this bill?
And then once you realize it, you’re like sh*t, you go to a show and you’re like holy sh*t, these people are going f*cking nuts…”
He went on to say that while it’s a normal reaction for guys who had been doing it for decades to be a little upset when that started happening, ultimately, it’s a positive thing because it brings attention to the entire Texas music scene.
WCG also added that it helps take some of the power away from Nashville, “because they’ve had power over us for years,” which I found extremely interesting and accurate:
“But what I tell guys that are getting bitter about it, and it’s a human reaction that’s normal, to have this ‘f*ck you,’ you know? But what I tell everyone is like, dude, the more eyes we have on this scene the better it is for all of us.
The more attention we can draw to our scene, the less power Nashville will have over us because they’ve had power over us for years.”
Over the years, WCG has actually opened for Koe, and I think it’s really important to focus on what he mentioned in the podcast that those kinds of things really do shine a bright light on all of the great artists within that scene.
Koe specifically often brings out a bill full of only Texas artists with him on the road, and he sells out arenas these days, so it’s safe to say he’s definitely exposing fans to people they probably never would’ve heard of otherwise, and that’s all you can really ask for.
Like with any genre, new people breakout every year, and it’s a never-ending cycle of battling for position, so to speak, and trying to strike while the iron is hot in terms of reaching new fans and finding ways to capitalize on that success.
In my opinion, the more people who hear Texas country (outside of the Lone Star state and Red Dirt scene, of course), the better…
And while you’re here, if you’re unfamiliar with William Clark Green or haven’t ever dived into his catalog before, you can check out some great songs below.