William Clark Green on the high-wire tension of recording a live album

Posted by Chip Chandler on
William Clark Green will perform Saturday at Midnight Rodeo.
Photo by Phillip Guzman

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Just because Texas country star William Clark Green has always dreamed of making a live album doesn't mean the process was easy.

"This was a one-take kind of deal," said Green, whose Live at Gruene Hall was released in September. "If the song didn't go over as well as we wanted, that's the way it was. ... We took our time on mixing it, and there's no overdubbing, which was my thing. I didn't want to make a fake live CD."

Not only would that be ripping his fans off, Green said, it would go against the spirit of his favorite kinds of albums.

"This is our first live album, but hopefully not the last. I want to do a bunch of them. They're not the biggest moneymaker, but it's neat for us to do," he said. "I feel like our live show is the best we have to offer."

Amarillo fans will get a taste of that when Green returns to town for a 9 p.m. Saturday show at Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S. Georgia St. Cover is $12 in advance or $15 day of show.

William Clark Green live at Gruene Hall

Green said he's drawn to the "energy" of a live album.

"In the studio, it's not that you can't find energy, but it's a different kind of energy," he said. "We wanted to do a real show, with real fans, real screaming."

That's what Green heard on his favorite live albums, like those also done by Jerry Jeff Walker and Jack Ingram at the fabled Gruene Hall, or even on the seminal Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton.

"For me, as a listener, when I was in high school and wasn't able to go to shows, (live albums were) it for me," he said. "The live records are really special for me. They gave me an opportunity to be there."

So with those predecessors in mind, Green had some anxiety even in the planning stages.

"We weren't expecting Gruene Hall to even allow us to do to," he said. "I'm very thankful that they let us. ... We were in rehearsal for four days straight. The guys have played these songs a thousand times, so it was more about getting out of bad habits that we had gotten into and honing in on what we do.

"And I felt the pressure. (The) Friday night (show, one of two recorded) is most of the recording, so we're more on our toes," he said. "On Saturday, I relaxed more and had more fun."

Green is already looking ahead to a new studio album for next year.

"I'm writing for it now, and I've booked time in January with (producer) Rachel Loy. ... I've got some songs I'm proud of, so hopefully, they go over well."

 

 

 

 

 

Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/chipchandlerwriter on Facebook.

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