Photography: William Clark Green’s Ringling Road Street Show

William Clark Green at The Blue Light. Photography by Trace Thomas/New Slang.

William Clark Green at The Blue Light. Photography by Trace Thomas/New Slang.

by: Thomas D. Mooney

This past Saturday, singer-songwriter and part-time ringmaster William Clark Green did something that’s never been done at The Blue Light. He, along with Austin’s Crooks and Lubbock’s No Dry County and Dalton Domino performed in front of the largest Blue Light crowd ever.

Last week, we were praising him for not being a sellout. This week, it’s for selling out. Funny how things work out.

I’m standing backstage talking with Green before Domino and company are about to take the stage. It’s roughly 8 in the evening and the sun is finally settling to the west of Lubbock’s sprawling downtown. People are flocking to the once industrial Depot District. There’s not a parking spot to be found within a five-mile radius of the massive stage set up on Buddy Holly Ave outside The Blue Light and the adjacent Cactus Courtyard and Triple J’s Chophouse.

We’re talking about Ringling Road and the fortunate weather that we’re receiving at the moment. Multiple *knocks on wood* moments happen throughout the night from various musicians, Blue Light bartenders, and so on as an attempt to not jinx the weather. A Sturgill Simpson line seems relevant for a description of Lubbock weather: Momma’s gonna wash it all away. She thinks mercy’s overrated.

Green’s Ringling Road goes live in roughly two days. It’s ready for mass consumption. You can see a healthy nervousness in Green when talking about the record. Yeah, they were pretty damn confident when making the album, but unless you’re Dylan, you’re still pretty nervous about the actual release of your next record.

You still worry about if people are going to like it–not that it’s the most important aspect of songwriting and art–but there’s certainly some validation when people feel what you’ve been working on for the last year was worth the time and effort. It’s important.

Ultimately, the strength of Ringling Road is the confidence that exudes from all aspects of the album. But specifically, that confidence is most apparent in the lyrics’ brazen nature. It’s Green’s most blunt lines that cut the deepest. There’s more than one way to write an honest song. There’s various levels of honesty.

With Ringling Road, he’s giving us the non sugar-coated version. It’s blunt and forthright. It’s known when he’s saying fuck this and that, fuck him, her, you, and in the most unadulterated, loathsome moments, fuck me. That’s when you know a songwriter isn’t being a hypocrite. Everyone gets their share of a tongue-lashing.


One response to “Photography: William Clark Green’s Ringling Road Street Show

  1. Pingback: Mid-Year Record Report: Panhandle 2015 | New Slang·

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