William Clark Green: ‘Ringling Road’ Album Review

Texas native William Clark Green put out his fourth studio album ‘Ringling Road’ this week. The album is poised to take him from a favorite on the Texas club scene to a household name. The album is diverse with 11 songs with 11 different feels. Green seamlessly goes from one to the other, his awesome vocals carrying the message of each. His singing is just the beginning, each song has great instrumentation that puts you in the song.

1.) Next Big Thing’
Impression: The album starts off with a cool intro that gives you the feel you are about to experience something awesome. Listening I felt as if I was a concert waiting for my favorite artist to take the stage, which is pretty ironic considering the song is about the struggle of being an up and coming artist. Everyone’s telling you that you’re going to be the next thing; meanwhile you barely could afford the gas to come and play that night.
Favorite Lyric: It’s hard to pay your dues when there aint no money in the bank. It’s a shame, I gotta make it to the show but there aint no gas in the tank…

2.) ‘Sticks and Stones’ 
Impression: This is a positive song about not letting other’s negativity bring you down. Obviously the title is a play on the old children’s rhyme, but it really should have meaning to everyone, no matter how old you are. Especially in a small town, people are always going to talk bad about you because it makes them feel better about themselves for a little while. There’s no reason to let it get to you.
Favorite Lyric: You believe what you wanna believe, you think that you know but you don’t know me. If you want someone to blame, you can tell the whole town to curse my name. I won’t be begging for second chance. You really think I give a damn’?

3.) ‘Creek Don’t Rise’
Impression: Green follows up with another good mood song. ‘Creek Don’t Rise’ is about reconnecting with someone. The song features awesome fiddle and is the first of many tracks with unique sounds that show the range and talent in Green and his band.
Favorite Lyric:  Moon is shining, Stars aligning, feel it comin’ on!

4) ‘Ringling Road’
Impression: The title track for the album features awesome imagery of the not so family friendly side of the circus. Rhythmically the song is really cool from the creepy feel of the beginning to the drunken sing-along at the end. This is a really unique song that I think a lot of people will like.
Favorite Lyric: The tattoo man is making out with snake lady just to piss of the human cannonball she’s been dating…

5.) ‘Final This Time’ (featuring Dani Flowers)
Impression: After a series of upbeat songs, this one slows it down. This is a painful song about a breakup. The song was sung so powerfully but both artists. It is kind of unique in that it’s a duet with a breakup that both sides want. You can tell they are both pained by it but they know the pain of staying together would be worse.
Favorite Lyric: Wish I could remember what I ever saw in you. I wish I could forget everything you put me through…

6.) ‘Fool Me Once’
Impression: After the break-up song comes on about the excitement of falling in love. I liked this song a lot. The title is obviously another play on an old saying, but when you fall in love, if it works out you never have to worry about get fooled again. It’s an upbeat, windows down, kinda song for days when everything is going your way.
Favorite Lyric: I’ve always been good at picking my battles, until I met you…

7.) ‘Sympathy’
Impression: Along with ‘Sticks and Stones’ this is one of the two songs off the album Green has released as singles. Unlike ‘Final This Time’ this is a one-sided break-up song. His ex has been broken up with by her new guy and he has no pity for her as she feels just as she left him feeling like that in the past. The musical build into the chorus once again shows the incredible talent of his band.
Favorite Lyric: I know how ya feel, I’ve been there before, standing on the wrong side of a goodbye and a slamming door…

8) ‘Hey Sarah’
Impression: Life on the road can put a strain on your personal life and relationships. Not sure if Green is trying to be Taylor Swift dropping names in songs, but he is clearly still head over heels for Sarah. He is trying to get over it but there’s something about her, he just cant.
Favorite Lyric: I can’t help myself, gotta be someone else, everything I do always comes back to you…

9) ‘Old Fashioned’
Impression: The world is changing whether you like it or not. This song is an anthem for those who don’t. I have a feeling a lot of country fans are going to relate to it. The song again hits with awesome imagery.
Favorite Lyric: Yes sir and no sir, pardon me ma’am, you don’t hear that much anymore. From the punk ass kids not giving a damn’ hanging out at the corner store. They’re gonna beg steal and borrow the promise for tomorrow, it aint that hard to tell. And no one else knows because they’re staring at their phones, the whole world’s going to hell…

10) ‘Going Home’
Impression: A rockin’ groovin’ song that will have you bobbing your head. I loved the chorus of background vocals in the later part of the song. It’s not about going back to your mom and dad, as the title you might have you thinking, but rather about back to the one you love. Returning home to them will get you over whatever blues you are going though. I talked about how ‘Next Big Thing’ intros as a song you would open a concert with, this one sounds like the one you would end with.
Favorite Lyric: I’ve been drowning in my sorrows. I’ve been looking for a better way. I will trade all my tomorrows, for a little you and yesterday…

11) ‘Still Think About You’
Impression:  Keeping up with the concert analogy this is the encore for sure and is a great ending to the album. While this emotionally charged song is about a lover, it has new meaning to Green as his cowriter on the song Kent Finlay passed away recently. Not sure if it was intentional but the song seems to end very suddenly. Given the depth of the rest of the album I imagine it was to represent the way the relationship described in the song ended.
Favorite Lyric: I still think about you every morning, remember what you said, get your ass up get self outta bed. Then you’d kiss me on top of my head.  I know you hate me now but I wanted you to know. Didn’t care enough but I cared enough to let you go.

I really enjoyed this album. I’ll be honest when I got it that I had not heard of William Clark Green but I am definitely a fan now. The entire album was well written with great imagery. Additionally the music on each track went so well with the lyrics. Each song was unique but yet they packaged together well. The album is worth a front to back listen. A lot of albums now days are a bunch of hopeful singles jammed onto a disk with the hopes they all can shine as individual songs. ‘Ringling Road’ shines as a collection of songs, each with the potential to be a hit. We wish him lots of success on the album and hope he’ll be playing some shows up this way very soon!

You can purchase ‘Ringling Road‘ on iTunes here.

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