Born in San Antonio and raised up the road a bit in Waco, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Pat Green is proud to call central Texas home. His latest album is a self-released gem called “Home.” Home is where he is most happy. And when he is home, he brings a-rockin’ good-time. Green brought his powerhouse show to Stubb’s on Thursday night in a benefit show for “Breakthrough Central Texas.” This organization is a powerhouse in itself, providing a path to college for low-income students to become the first in their families to earn a college degree.
The November night was a bit chilly, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long. Opener Cameran Nelson demonstrated why he is one of Texas country’s rising stars with a set that brought the heat. Nelson’s fusion of down-and-dirty country and laid back rock-n-roll was a perfect start to a raucous night. Nelson and his three-piece band played a selection of songs that ranged from pure country to hard rock, yet all displayed a pop sensibility that was simply fun to watch. Many in the audience were there to support the cause and admittedly were not country music fans, yet Nelson managed to pull them in with his joyful and energetic performance.
After a welcome by Breakthrough Central Texas Executive Director Michael Griffith, Grecia Lopez – one of the students who has gone through the program and a Junior at Texas Tech University – shared her breakthrough story.
Pat Green sauntered to the stage to hoots, hollers and rousing applause. “Putting kids through college. That’s what we’re doing tonight!” he exclaimed. Surveying an audience that was a bit more formal and buttoned-up than his usual crowd, Green shouted “I gotta admit, y’all look different than the first time I played here at Stubb’s” Let’s have some Fun!” The band launched into “Carry On” with a chorus of “Everybody gotta get away sometime, Forget about yourself for awhile.” Green made it clear that there was no place for holding back tonight. This was a party and he certainly did his part to assure that that would happen. Green kicked, crouched, pumped his fist and contorted his face into a wide variety of expressions that surely pleased the fans down front while converting new fans from the benefit crowd.
Green seemed to really be enjoying his time on the stage. He left Nashville and all of its trappings a short while back, choosing to play and write the music he loves rather than cowtow to the commercial machine. At one point he gave a proud shoutout to his old fiddle player, Brendon Anthony, who was in the crowd – and who now heads the Texas Music Office. “Yeah Yeah Yeah! Doncha just love Texas music made by real people from Texas?!” He shouted. “We have to support music made by us… We do! Because let’s face it. Once you turn on the radio for more than ten minutes yer gonna have to turn it off!” The crowd cheered as he launched into “Feels Just like it Should.” And no one could say that it didn’t.
There is nothing like real music played by real musicians who play from their heart. It has the power to transform and to take away the problems of the day. And in this day and age, we certainly need it. Thank God for Pat Green. He takes his job seriously. Even if that job is to just have a good time and celebrate a worthy cause.
More than 1,200 donors and Pat Green fans came out in support of Breakthrough Central Texas for an incredible evening of music. In total, they raised more than $425,000 in sponsorships, ticket sales, and donations – a new record for Breakthrough!
CAMERAN NELSON PHOTO GALLERY
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PAT GREEN PHOTO GALLERY
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About “Breakthrough Central Texas”
In Central Texas, only 6% of middle school students will go on to earn a college degree of any kind. To combat this trend, Breakthrough makes a 12-year commitment to help children become the first in their families to graduate from college. Our program focuses on a combination of extended learning, comprehensive advising, and leadership experiences to help students prepare for, persist through, and ultimately, graduate from college. From middle school to high school to college through college graduation, we are there every step of the way.
Breakthrough does whatever it takes to help our students beat the odds to become first-generation college graduates. And we cannot do it without you. By supporting Breakthrough, you’ll make a child’s dream of a college education come true.
Breakthrough builds a path through college, beginning in middle school, for students from low-income communities who will become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Our program combines individualized, long-term case management with extended learning time for students who statistics say will not enroll in or graduate from college without significant support. We believe that by providing innovative educational programs to children and their families, we can have a multi-generational impact – replacing the cycle of poverty with self-sufficiency.
We believe that all Central Texas children from low-income communities should have the opportunity to go to college. Unfortunately, statistics say this won’t happen without significant intervention. In fact, less than 6% of Central Texas middle school students from low-income communities are finishing college and only 12% of low-income high school graduates.
To combat this trend, Breakthrough makes a 12-year commitment to successfully guide each of its students and families through the long and complicated process of preparing for, enrolling in and completing college. We believe that by providing innovative educational programs to children and their families, we can replace the cycle of poverty with self-sufficiency.