Pat Green

Pat Green picked up the guitar as a senior in high school. Looking around at other musicians — and “all these girls” — at the time, “I said to myself, ‘Man, I need to be a part of that somehow,’” he quipped.

Pat Green believes the best way to describe his music would be if Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen had a baby who — plot twist — was raised by Jerry Jeff Walker.

        “That’s the only answer,” the Texas country artist said in a phone interview from Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.

        Tonight, the San Antonio native will headline Belly Up, where he’s played shows for more than a decade.  

        Green will bring to Aspen his “Margaritavilles,” or his more famous songs — like “Wave on Wave,” “Take Me Out To A Dancehall” and “Feels Like It Should” — as well as a few newer releases.  

“I bring the sink,” he said. 

Indeed, Green boasts plenty of material throughout his two-and-a-half-decade career from which he can pull.

        The country rocker picked up the guitar during his senior year of high school because it seemed like an effective way to meet women. Looking around to other musicians — and “all these girls” — at the time, “I said to myself, ‘Man, I need to be a part of that somehow,’” Green quipped.

“I jumped both feet in and didn’t look back,” he said. “Once I get started on something, I don’t stop. And I still have that same passion after a 25-year-long career.”

Green independently released his first record with money he borrowed from friends and family when he was a senior at Texas Tech University. Since then, he has released 13 albums and sold more than two million records. He’s also released 10 Billboard radio hits and topped the Country Airplay chart.

“Here I am,” he said, “lucky as can be.” In 2007, Green toured extensively with Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban, and for a shorter period, Dave Matthews. 

Working alongside the musical powerhouses — and performing before 25,000 people — Green learned the importance of staying humble in spite of fame.

“Those were such memorable experiences. … I learned from being around them that having an ego just doesn’t really work,” Green said, noting each of their down-to-earth personalities. 

While the relatability factor is important for artists of any genre, Green believes it is “a bit stronger [and] a bit more important” in country music.

For his part, Green has played a major role in putting the Texas country subgenre on the map, and not just because of hits called “I Like Texas” and “Southbound 35.”

But Green said he merely writes about subjects that elicit emotion. The way he sees it, lyrics with little or no emotion behind them lack a level of authenticity.

“I write a lot about my wife,” Green said. “She’s been my muse all my career. We’ve been together since before I made my first album.”

        Green self-released his last album, “Home,” in 2015, and has since put out a number of extended play records. But the latest album in the Grammy-nominated artist’s collection isn’t by Green: The 2018 album, “Dancehall Dreamin': A Tribute to Pat Green,” honors Green through the voices of Jack Ingram, the Randy Rogers Band and other Texas country mainstays. The project spanned three years and was intended as a surprise for Green’s 46th birthday.

        Joking that he’s too young for a tribute album, the 47-year-old said he was touched by his peers’ surprise. 

“In a word, I was flabbergasted,” Green said. “It blew my doors down."

IF YOU GO… 

What: Pat Green

When: Tonight. Show starts at 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 8 p.m.

Where: Belly Up 

Cost: $35 general admission; $75 reserved 

Tickets and more information at bellyupaspen.com

Erica Robbie is the arts and entertainment editor for the Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at erica@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @ericarobbie.