Pat Green Slips Texas Border, Goes National

New country CDs include Raffi collaboration, Christmas album.

Pat Green's major-label debut leads this week's new country releases. Green, who has become something of a Texas phenomenon in recent years, tours almost nonstop in clubs, honky-tonks and dancehalls across the state. His energetic shows have come to be known as "sweatathons," and fans routinely greet him with cheers of "Pat f---ing Green!" Now he's on CMT.

Along the way, Green has sold some 200,000 copies of his independently released CDs — and a lot of beer. Republic/Universal signed him earlier this year and the result is Three Days. Willie Nelson duets with him on "Threadbare Gypsy Soul," while "Carry On" is #38 on the October 20 Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

John Berry's second album for Ark 21 is titled All the Way to There. Berry wrote several of the album's songs while staying at Ark 21 owner Miles Copeland's castle in France.

Several country artists perform songs by the children's author and singer Raffi on Country Goes Raffi (Rounder). Artists taking part include Asleep at the Wheel, Eric Heatherly, Billy Gilman, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, Marty Stuart, the Wilkinsons, LeRoy Parnell, Rhonda Vincent, Lari White, Raul Malo, Elizabeth Cook and Kathy Mattea. Raffi's royalties from the album will be donated to the Children's Environmental Health Network.

Yet more country artists are represented on Christmas Cookies (MCA Nashville). George Strait, Chely Wright, Mark Chesnutt, Gary Allan, Tracy Byrd, Lee Ann Womack, the Mavericks, George Jones and Trisha Yearwood (with Vince Gill) perform traditional Christmas songs on the album.

Twenty vintage Conway Twitty performances are collected on 20 Classics: Conway Twitty (Varese Sarabande), which includes "Danny Boy," "It's Only Make Believe," "Linda on My Mind" and "Hello Darlin'."