I first met William Clark Green in about 2010, at that time just emerging among Texas musical cast of characters as a young hopeful. Most clear in my memory, even amid the party that a live music backstage scene can tend to be, Will was the happiest guy in the place clearly exactly where he wanted to be, and loving every second. This was a contagious vibe from the outset, one that Will had no trouble channeling into music that rings in the heart of the listener, and a live show as inspiring as it is entertaining. Between two acclaimed and successful albums, 2012s Rose Queen and 2015s Ringling Road, and what now clocks in at a near-decades worth of dogged road work, William Clark Green has established himself as one of the most important voices of his genre - a voice that now pipes up again on his anticipated new album, Hebert Island. The new album is named for Wills retreat at Hebert Island (say AY-Bear, though youll occasionally hear HEE-Bert) near Beaumont, and refers to the hilltop upon which his camphouse sits - not an actual island, but a potential one, should the occasional flood come to pass; high ground is valuable in this landscape. Will considers himself a half-ass coon-ass - a distantly-descended Cajun, but one who holds a deep appreciation for that history and that way of life. Its a real place, Will insists, with the feeling that only such a beloved space can foster - his family has owned it since 1869, in the early years of Reconstruction, and is where they established one of the states first rice farming operations. Its a place that echoes through time for William Clark Green, connecting his familys past and tradition to who he is as an artist, and as a man, today.That effort has paid off; Hebert Island is a stellar new batch of songs from a guy who has gone to great lengths to keep his energy focused, through all distraction, on quality songcraft. My favorite songwriter is Guy Clark - the songwriters songwriter. Its what Ive always cared about the most...the craft of songs is really where its at for me. I think good songs are undeniable. Mostly recorded at Nashvilles Sound Emporium with Benjy Davis at the board, the new album also features players who have been backing Will for near the full ride, including guitarist Steven Marcus and bassist Cameron Moreland. Goner stands as a shimmering, no-hard-feelings take on the moment of breakup, the protagonist of the quasi-travelogue Stay understands that it doesnt matter where you are, as long as youre close to love, and the ballad She Loves Horses exemplifies both the warmth and strength thats developed in Wills songwriting and the performance power of his players.