William Clark Green: The Granada
William Clark Green and his Texas band have been coming to The Granada in Lawrence, Kansas for the past three years now. I moved to Kansas City five years ago from Texas and enjoy when Texas bands come to town. Just as massive as the state, so is the Texas music scene. One thing is for sure, no matter the crowd size, when seeing Will on stage, you will have no doubt it’s where he’s meant to be.
Hebert Island is the most recent release coming off the equally successful Misunderstood, Rose Queen, and Ringling Road albums. Hebert Island refers to the hilltop where his camp house sits near Beaumont, Texas. Hebert Island is infused with his Cajun roots. While not actually an island, there is a deep history to this land as it’s been in the family since 1869, when the land served as one of the state’s first rice farms.
The band came on a Wednesday night, it was a smaller crowd, which made the show more personal. In a way, it felt more like a house concert. I’ve seen the band play larger stages in the Midwest, but they were just as grateful to be on the stage that night. The set started off with one of his older signature songs, “Next Big Thing,” off of the Ringling Road album. The crowd was loudly singing along, giving back just as much as the band was giving to all who spent their hard-earned money. Of course, his shows wouldn’t be complete without the band playing “She Likes the Beatles” from the Rose Queen album.
A couple of the band members have changed since I last saw them play, but that hasn’t changed the roots of what you experience when seeing them live. If you know the Texas music scene well, you might know Josh Serrato was the former lead guitarist for Six Market Blvd. Green has had a heavy touring schedule but he has reaped the rewards with playing at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. He recorded a live album at Gruene Hall which was released in 2016. Will attended Texas Tech in Lubbock, and his loyalty to that town can be seen in the yearly songwriting sessions that are held with other musicians from the area. Cotton Fest, which began in 2017, is his yearly music festival held at Cook’s Garage in Lubbock. The festival features three days of music, camping, a BBQ cook off, and a washer tournament.
Having not attended one of his shows in Texas, I can’t vouch if they differ at all, but Wednesday’s show was quite unique in a couple of ways. Some of you might have witnessed an engagement or two at a concert. Well, that’s exactly what happened mid-song at this show. Congratulations to Leelynn and Wyatt on their surprise engagement. Will’s smile became even bigger after she said, “Yes” to Wyatt’s proposal. Another out of the ordinary occurrence was, instead of going by the set list, Will made it more personal by telling the stories linked to songs and taking the requests that were shouted out. He told a story about attending a smaller show in Texas and there was one song in particular that he really wanted to hear, but it didn’t get played despite his request. So, he vowed from that moment to be the artist that would take the requests of his songs from fans. You could sense his appreciation for “people spending their hard-earned money to come out on a Wednesday night in Lawrence, Kansas.”
If you missed out on him this time, he and his band will be at Cornstock Festival in Garnett, Kansas on September 28. Either way, seeing him live, always puts a big smile on my face. Go to the show, support the bands in any way you can.
On March 19, 2019, William Clark Green and his full band recorded a live acoustic album at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas. According to Green’s social media accounts and his announcements at shows, we can expect the album to be available in the near future. He has been teasing us that release dates and details will be coming soon. So, be sure to watch for that information to drop. Back in July of this year, Will released, “The One I Was Then,” which was recorded with Bruce Robison for The Next Waltz. In other William Clark Green news, he had the #1 slot on the Texas Regional Radio Charts last week with a single from Hebert Island, “Stay.” This achievement marks his 11th #1 single to date.
In light of the events this week with the passing of Texas singer, songwriter, friend, daughter and mother, Kylie Rae Harris, it’s had me thinking about so many different things. Go to the show, hug your friends, hell - hug a stranger. Take the pictures. In those moments from traveling to the show, to hanging out before the show, to waiting in line, then soaking in the music, and everything after the show; leave people better than you met them. Check on your friends. Send the band off feeling like they are at home. Grace, compassion, and love to each of you.
William Clark Green: