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William Clark Green

Rose Queen – 2013 (Bill Grease)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by William Clark Green

William Clark Green has been building momentum in Texas as a singer/songwriter for years thanks to his first two albums and his frequent live dates. "Rose Queen" blends rootsy country, rock and big choruses. The best country songs are the ones that connect on a personal level, and Green is particularly adept at sharing stories from a personal perspective. Green is definitely familiar with life in small town Texas, which informs many of the songs here.

The themes of staying and leaving are prevalent throughout the 11 tracks and demonstrate the push-pull feelings that are associated with age and place. The tender and dynamic Take Me Away offers an introspective look at someone caught in the doldrums and seemingly unsure about what choices to make next in life, while the rockin' Hangin' Around finds the narrator firmly convinced that a move away from town is the only way to truly discover what life has in store.

Green conveys this courage of conviction in the chorus with lines like:" Gotta find out who I'm gonna be/Ain't gonna find it in this town/I finally got the courage to up and leave/Everybody's still hangin' around."

Leaving resurfaces on the airy and acoustic Let's Go, which finds the narrator trying to convince a love interest to throw caution to the wind and take a leap of love and faith with him.

Green also gets really personal on Welcome To The Family, the closing track and the best example of his ability to distill life into song. You won't find many more honest and open looks at families and their dynamics in country music.

It should also be noted that this is ultimately not a concept album and that Green is more than capable of penning great straight-forward rockers. The title track, the first single It's About Time and She Likes The Beatles are all worthy of special mention.