“Some people’s jobs take them away from home a lot,” reads the opening graphic of Pat Green’s new “While I Was Away” video. And no one knows that better than the touring troubadour, who has juggled music and family for more than two decades. But you won’t see Green’s face anywhere in the clip. Instead, he puts the spotlight on traveling parents ranging from truck drivers and flight attendants to athletic scouts and military servicemen and women. The video is simple but powerful: a montage of photos of real-life families with a parent who pays the bills by working away from home for the majority of the year.
“By the time I made it home, you were already in bed/Chubby cheek pressed to the pillow by a bedtime book you’d read,” sings the father of two in the song’s opening line.
“While I Was Away” was penned by singer-songwriter Zane Williams, who was inspired by his own job that keeps him separated from his young son more than he’d like. “I got home late one night and was loading my crud back into my house at 2:00 a.m., and my little boy’s toys were scattered in the yard,” he tells Lone Star Roads TV. “I saw where he’d been making a little path for his trucks, with bridges and tunnels. And I just got sad thinking about him playing without me. . . I was thinking about all the stuff that goes on while I was away.”
“When the goosebumps come up and the tears start coming, you realize that you’ve found something that’s pretty serious,” says Green of hearing the tune for the first time. He cut “While I Was Away” for his next album, Home, due out in August. The project — his first new set of tunes in six years — also includes collaborations with Sheryl Crow, Delbert McClinton, Marc Broussard and Lyle Lovett, with whom Green duets on the album’s first single, “Girls From Texas.”
Home has been complete for about two years now, but was pending a new label deal — which Green recently inked with Nashville-based indie label, Thirty Tigers. The singer-songwriter vowed long ago to make peace with the wait to release new music until the timing was right.
“I’m a patient fellow. I have learned to be a patient fellow, I should say, because I wasn’t always,” he told Rolling Stone Country last fall. “You have to give something to providence or God or whatever else you want to put it in that bucket. This is just what it’s supposed to be.”