Marked by resilience, maturity, and the optimistic joy of a creative resurgence, Pat Green’s Miles and Miles of You is the work of an icon reclaiming ground only he himself could have ceded. Ten fresh tracks feel like the spiritual exhale of a celebrated troubadour, taking fans on a journey to the other side of turmoil … and to a place where the old ways feel new again.
Credited as one of Texas country’s modern-era founding fathers, Green has traveled many roads in the 25 years since his debut album, Dancehall Dreamer. A Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter with a restless creative spirit, his career has gone beyond the bounds of a “country star” to include the work of a painter, sculptor, philanthropist, family man and more. But one constant has remained – his vision.
Combining Southwestern country traditions with the rebellious spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, and adding in a poet’s literary flourish, it was Green’s vision which brought the organic, true-to-yourself Texas style to the country mainstream in the early 2000s. With watershed tracks like “Carry On,” “Three Days” and the Grammy-nominated Top 5 Billboard Country Airplay hit, “Wave On Wave,” he’s gone on to sell more than two million records and notch a string of Top Ten hits on the Billboard Country Radio chart, 12 Number Ones at Texas radio, a headlining sell out of the Houston Astrodome and tours with Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney and others.
His vision paved the way for a generation of fiercely-independent Texan talent, and with the new album, Miles and Miles of You, that vision is focused like never before. But it didn’t come for free. “No doubt, I love working,” Green explains. “To go out and be a performer is the joy of my life, other than my wife and children. But when that was taken away from me in 2020, I went into the darkest place I’ve ever been in my life, and for me, it was the music and my wife that brought me back out of it.”
“You never wanna say a record is the best work you’ve ever done, because obviously there’s still work to do,” he goes on. “But all things considered, I feel like this is as strong as any record I’ve ever done.” Green’s 14th album overall, Miles and Miles of You is also his first in nearly seven years – since his inspiration-first writing style means he won’t force a song into existence. But that philosophy also makes it possible for a whole album to arrive in a dam-burst of expression, and Green now calls Miles and Miles of You an “effortless” project. “It was just so smooth and natural,” he says. “I write the song when it comes, and it was like ‘Man, we’re on a roll.’”
The roll began in Colorado, as Green sought to shake off the pandemic blues. Inspired by his wife to get moving after nine months of downtime, he invited a trusted group of friends and bandmates to his second home in Steamboat Springs, figuring it would at least be a good collaborative exercise. But surrounded by laughter and creative energy once more, he soon felt the muse stirring.
“I’m not lying, I was in a pit. It was the darkest days of my life,” Green explains. “But then you take your first step, and you see a little bit of light around the corner. Then you take a second step and a third, and little by little, you come to a point where you’re happy being what you’ve always been. Once we started writing and I started seeing creativity again – right in my face – it was like ‘Oh my gosh, this is still here, I can still do this.’”
It should come as no shock, then, that the first song written – and the one that helped set the album’s tone – was “Steady.” A soothing country tribute to Green’s wife, Kori, the track is the very definition of being comfortable in your own skin. Placing his hardscrabble vocal alongside patient fiddles, quiet washes of steel guitar and a gentle beat, it’s dedicated to that one person you can truly count on to remind you who you are – a partnership ballad pulled straight from Green’s life.
“If you could look at the wall behind my desk, I’ve written all over it and I call it my prayer list, but it’s really just that I’m thoughtful of all these things,” he explains. “The first thing you’ll see is Kori’s name. She’s all of it. She was ‘Wave on Wave,’ she was ‘Three Days,’ everything – and she still is everything.” “‘Steady’ was the first one where I remember going ‘OK, I can do this again. I can express my feelings about something,’” Green continues. “But once the juice started flowing, it was on.”
With creativity surging, much of the remaining album was written in the days that followed, as Green and his crew converted emotion to music quickly and efficiently – just like he did with his biggest hits. In fact, songs like “I’m Going Home” carry the same euphoric DNA, establishing the album’s route in a highway-rocking standout. With Green’s spirit swelling to match the volume of wide-open guitars and free-wheeling drums, it’s a windows-down anthem that sees better days ahead.
“God, I sit here and I’m getting a little teary,” Green says, revealing what his return “home” to the road means to him. “It’s a singalong, and I think more than anything it tells the story of where I was when I wrote it.”
Recorded outside Austin with producer Dwight Baker (Bob Schneider, Josh Abbott Band), more of that story is revealed with each track, as Green and his band mirrored the loose vibe of the songwriting with country balladry, dancehall energy, soul-baring reflection and at times, a swampy blues strut.
Pulling a vivid romantic thread between the screaming stadiums of the past and the front-porch serenades of his life today, Green’s been trying to get the title track (written by Jon Randall and John Scott Sherill) on a record since his major-label days. “All In This Together” enlists Texas-born newcomer Abby Anderson for a resilient, arm-in-arm roots rocker with a can-do core, and “This Old Hat” takes a step back to contemplate a father’s true legacy. “April 5th” is a jaunty, jovial tribute to knowing exactly where you come from, and lighthearted anthems like “Build You a Bar” and “If It Don’t Have a Honky Tonk” are sure to help fans do like Green did, and put their worries away for three much-needed minutes. Meanwhile, the album ends with an eerie “Echo,” as Green feels the reverberations of the past … and his own life in the spotlight.
Restless and relentless, searching yet self-composed, Green turns 50 years old in April 2022, and now knows from experience his path ahead could be blocked at any instant. But with Miles and Miles of You, he seems to accept that sometimes, the detour just offers a better view of the destination. “The older you get, you just have more to think about,” he says. “So that’s what this record is – a guy with more to think about, coming through a hard time and into something as fun and beautiful as creation. I’m just gonna take the ball and run with it.”