For some, particularly those in the college-age demo, Pat Green is the torchbearer for a Texas music scene that manifests itself mostly at the club level.

For some, particularly those in the college-age demo, Pat Green is the torchbearer for a Texas music scene that manifests itself mostly at the club level. His Republic debut shows why: It's a sturdy collection of good-time, guitar-fueled country rock that kicks off with the rowdy, likable survivor's tribute "Carry On." Stylistically and lyrically, Green recalls a harder-edged Jerry Jeff Walker, with such cuts as the easy-rollin' "Threadbare Gypsy Soul" (with Willie Nelson), the fiddle-laced be-bop of "Who's to Say," and the good-advice tune "Count Your Blessings." The title cut is a syncopated, midtempo love song, and Green rocks mightily on the Texas-centric "Southbound 35." A highlight is Green's duet with Trish Murphy on her subtle "Wrong Side of Town," and Green shows off his own songwriter chops on the self-pitying "Whiskey" and the romantic "Take Me Out to a Dancehall." While the album has a bit of a beer-soaked, Lone Star Jimmy Buffett Jr. feel to it, it's also a lot of fun and shows a wealth of promise.—RW