The line from Misunderstood to Rose Queen to Ringling Road didn’t lead straight to Hebert Island. Along that route, William Clark Green experienced some hardcore life. He’s gone from plucky songwriter well-known on the plains to a regional headliner backed by one of the best bands to be found anywhere. He’s turned modern country music quite literally on its ear by featuring Rolling Stones style riffs on top of emotional lyrics. Green has blown through a relationship or two. A bad gig or three. A hangover or twenty. A good time or a hundred. A heartache or five. And it all set his artistic GPS down the road to Hebert Island.
The lead single, “Hit You Where It Hurts”, is everything that has made Green one of the largest names in Texas Music. A monster melody, a dynamic shift between chorus and verse, big guitars and emotional gut punch. That’s kind of Green’s forte. The title track is one he’s been playing live for some time and the studio treatment is excellent. It manages to maintain its intensity and energy without losing any of the rough edges…which is another calling card of Green’s. Some of the tracks here would come off as trite and cliche in lesser hands, Green elevates all of them with small lyric wrinkles, smart production choices and emotive vocals that hit the right notes. “Drunk Again” is a title that will throw many in the wrong direction. One pass through will distill William Clark Green’s authenticity. It’s as genuine a testament to being a songwriter on the road while life at home moves on without him as I’ve ever heard. WCG’s artisty and songwriting are most definitely inspired by his traveling. His avid road-dog touring pairs well with his twin roots in east and west Texas. All of these elements pop up throughout Hebert Island.
Clocking in at 14 tracks, Green is going old school with more than the guitar tones. He’s produced a project that is more than the sum of its digital tracks. As with his previous albums, this is a cohesive collection of songs that tells miniature stories as part of a larger narrative. Green is as adept as anyone at ripping open his heart and sprinkling just enough of his truth into the songs to keep you guessing which parts actually happened to him and which were sparked by the inspiration of good songwriting and storytelling. All the best stories and songs start with a truth. That’s evident all over this record.
Release date: August 10.