Riley Green gets a boost from a loud and rowdy crowd in a new live performance video of his current single, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died.” The song appears on the Jacksonville, Alabama, native’s 2019 album Different ‘Round Here.
Filmed before a sold-out audience in his home state’s Phenix City, the clip features Green delivering the song as a solo acoustic number. The stripped-down presentation highlights the natural warmth of Green’s voice and complements his lyrics about the many good things he sees in the world, adding a tinge of sadness when he notes that some, like his grandfathers, won’t be around forever. The enthusiastic crowd seemingly knows every word, and roars with particular delight when Green sings, “I wish every state had a Birmingham.”
Green penned the song alone, but gave credit to both of his grandfathers in the album credits. Based on fan demand, it was released as a single after the success of “There Was This Girl.”
“I never thought it was a big radio hit or anything like that,” Green told Rolling Stone before the album came out. “I just thought it was kind of a personal thing for me — kind of a tribute to my granddaddies, and saying, these are some of the things they thought were important that also mean something to me and that maybe aren’t so important in this day and age.”
In October, Green’s popular song “Bury Me in Dixie” was pulled from streaming sites, which Rolling Stone learned was over a lyric that referenced Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Green updated his Instagram last weekend with a statement about what the song meant to him, and promised that he’d soon be releasing a live acoustic version of it from the same Phenix City show that produced the performance above.
Green is currently headlining his Get That Man a Beer Tour, which plays the first of two shows in Athens, Georgia, tonight.