It’s no secret that Pat Green has more than his share of fans. It’s also no secret that he has his share of haters. Whatever you think of him, I believe there’s something everyone can appreciate his new collection of music on “Songs We Wish We’d Written II”.

Pat Green is an icon in the Texas music world. His heavy influence on today’s artists trying to pound out a career working the bars and dance halls in the Lone Star State is undeniable. The gritty, no nonsense, down home lyrics that came from Green in his early years of success have been copied time and again by his contemporaries. So when Pat releases yet another CD of his favorite cover songs, there is a group that is listening very intently.

On “Songs We Wish We’d Written II”, Green enlists help from Texas pals Cory Morrow and Jack Ingram in a couple of the 5 duets on the CD, as well as the likes of Aaron Lee Tasjan, (writer of Streets of Galilee), Monte Montgomery (Soulshine), and Collective Soul lead singer Ed Roland on the song he co-wrote and made a rock hit, “The World I Know”.

The best part of “Songs We Wish We’d Written II” is that there’s no one thing that binds the songs on the CD together, with one exception: They are all songs Pat wishes he’d written. It features covers of popular songs “The World I Know” and “Even The Losers” (written by Rocker Tom Petty), plus “All Just To Get To You” (Texas legend Joe Ely) and “If It Weren’t For You” (Americana artist/producer Walt Wilkins).

There are also several relatively unknown songs and writers, Like ” New Your rocker Tasjan, Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes, and Oregon-born Todd Snider who get credit for songs Pat wishes he wrote.

Don’t expect the sound on “Songs We Wish We’d Written II” to be as eclectic as the songwriters. This is a Pat Green album, first and foremost. And it sounds like a Pat Green album. Sure there are a couple songs that reach the outer boundaries of Pat’s sound. The hard rocking “I Am Too”, and the folk infused Lyle Lovett song “If I Had A Boat” jump out as different sounding, but not outside the Pat Green box.

The San Antonio-born singer/songwriter’s bold decision to leave Texas behind for Nashville over a decade ago, at the peak of his success on the Texas/Red Dirt music scene, is a landmark that people refer to when discussing the history of Texas music. It was a polarizing move to die hard Pat Green fans. Some felt that Pat snubbed them for big money and shiny things in Tennessee and lost credibility as a gritty, blue collar no-nonsense performer.

However you look at that decision, that’s all in the past. Green has returned to his roots and seems to be focusing on earning back his Texas fan base and bringing his music to another generation. This CD is a great step in that direction. It shows his appreciation for others in his profession and allows Pat to show the haters that it’s not all about him. I’m sure some of Green’s detractors will find reasons to pout about how he “sold out” over a decade ago, but “Songs We Wish We’d Written II” is a good album regardless of whether or not you’re afraid to admit it.