Fans of Pat Green were likely pleased by a recent episode of NBC's musical-competition program, The Voice. Green's 2003 hit Wave on Wave was featured prominently on the Oct. 13 show, which brought a smile to the singer-songwriter.
"You just kind of look around and go, 'My God, we must have done something right,'" he said a few days later in a phone interview.
Green suspects a longtime friend had something to do with the song selection. That would be Blake Shelton -- Voice coach, country star and pizza-crust enthusiast -- who used Wave on Wave in a battle between contestants Craig Wayne Boyd and James David Carter.
"I thought they were great singers," Green says of the performance. "It's actually not really like American Idol, where anybody off the street can go do it. There's an audition process and they're all professional singers. I was proud for them. Obviously, a career in music is one of the most difficult things to ever achieve. So however you can get it, go get it."
Green performs Saturday night with Jamey Johnson at the Brazos Valley Country Music Festival at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. He has a new album called Home, which will be released early next year. But Green has taken a different route for its release. After years on a major label, he will release the disc independently, and work with a distributor for marketing and promotion. He calls it "a process," but it's not one that has him anxious.
"I don't know if I have more patience, or if I just don't look at it as the end of the world anymore," he says. "When we were putting out records with the record label and those bigger deals … man, if it didn't go well, if we didn't have a hit, if the record didn't sell like crazy -- I was just distraught. … Huge swings of emotion. I think that now, at this point of my life, I realize that most people, even super fans of music, don't have that emotional high and low of a record coming out. So I just have to put things in perspective a little bit."
The album features some notable collaborations. Sheryl Crow chips in on Right Now, and Green scored a duet with one of his favorite artists -- Grammy-winning Texas A&M graduate Lyle Lovett -- on Girls From Texas. (Sample lyric: "New York's got the fashion and Florida's got the weather/But the girls from Texas are just a little bit better.")
Green says the collaboration, which is available on iTunes and Spotify, was the brainchild of his producer, Jon Randall. They recorded the song in Oklahoma City, when Lovett was in town for a quarter horse event. Green says he was "slack-jawed" for much of it.
"He's a perfectionist," Green says of Lovett. "He really needs for things to go precisely as he feels they should be. He's just an incredible amount of fun to be around. Plus, he's one of your heroes, so you're like, 'Wow, this is amazing.'"
Lovett's subtle sense of humor and dry delivery was on full display, Green says, and he gives a hearty chuckle in describing how the day began.
"He's hilarious," Green says. "The first thing he said to me was, 'Pat, I want to thank you for helping me out with my career like this.' I was like, 'Well, you're welcome, Lyle. Any time.'"