By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — Riley Green brought his country roots to Darke County.
The number one Nashville Recording Artist, Green with special guest Laine Hardy, took the stage on Sunday, Aug. 21 to bring the love of country music to those in attendance at The Great Darke County Fair.
Green is an American country music singer and songwriter who saw his first success with the single “There Was This Girl” in 2018. He released the album Different ‘Round Here, in Sept. 2019, and has been on the rise ever since.
The Alabama born native likes to stay close to his roots and write songs that embody who he is and the life he lives. Like any true country man, Green loves a good truck. He told fans his song “If It Wasn’t for Trucks” was inspired by his anger towards there not being a good country song about trucks, so he decided to write one himself.
The lyrics embody the idea of an American Dream where you work hard, save your money, and earn what you have. In return, you have a place of comfort and a lifetime of memories. The lyrics are relatable to all audiences due to the nature of why the truck is important from “talking to God all by yourself, crying when your granddaddy died, or hauling the deer, drinking a beer, and falling in and out of love.” Green’s lyrics say he wouldn’t have a place to do all of that, “if it wasn’t for trucks.”
Rolling Stone hailed his musical perspectives as “Drinks-in-the-air nineties country at an Alabama vs. Auburn tailgate,” and that is the type of energy fans have come to expect. Green told fans at the concert he prefers the sound of older country and tested their knowledge with a few classics like Mama Tried by Merle Haggard, Good Directions by Billy Currington, Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn, That Ain’t My Truck by Rhett Akins, and Should’ve Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith.
Keeping with the tailgate feel, Green finished off with a local favorite, Dixieland Delight by Alabama. The crowd got into the song, singing the lyrics back to him thus proving Darke County is a classic county fan.
Green was raised on the sounds of traditional Country, Bluegrass, and Southern Gospel music, and he learned the spirit of songwriting and performing at a young age while spending time with his late grandfather, Bufford Green, who ran the Golden Saw Music Hall.
That stage laid a foundation for the songs Riley would craft in the years to come and values learned from another generation, including the Platinum certified “I Wish Grandpas Never Died”. Green performed this emotional song by sitting at the end of the stage with fans, allowing for a deeper connection to be made, as the song is both emotional and relatable.
“It’s really cool to write things that are personal and people can relate to,” Green said in an interview with 102.7 Coyote County.
Green wrote the song “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” after finding out his granddaddy passed away as a way to help himself heal and cope with losing someone he cared about. He said it was a tribute for himself, and he played it at a show in Georgia with no intention of ever recording it. After playing it at the concert, the fan who recorded the song posted a Youtube video and it blew up in a matter of weeks, having millions of views.
“I went to the label and said, ‘you know, we might need to look at this song,” Green said in the interview.
He said it has been an awesome thing to see what that song can do. MusicRow praised his “great country vocal, honest presentation and true-to-life lyrics,” which are evident on his debut album Different ‘Round Here featuring the Platinum-certified hit No. 1 “There Was This Girl.” His songs are said to have “brought country back to its roots:the blue collar sounds from the working man, by the working man” (Whiskey Riff).
Green told fans there is a lot of debate as to what is and is not country music nowadays, so the best way to go about the debate is by just playing country music.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].