There’s few artists more unique than Charley Crockett.
The San Benito, Texas native has carved out quite the niche for himself in country music, with songs that echo back to old time western sounds and a vocal cadence and enunciation that can only be called Charley Crockett-esque.
His latest album, The Man From Waco, was released in September of last year and was perhaps his best work yet, although I’m still partial to his 2021 album Music City USA, and fortunately for us, we get to hear songs from both of those projects in a new setting with his first appearance on NPR’s phenomenal Tiny Desk Concert series.
Charley played a 5-song set, accompanied by the jack of all instruments, Kullen Fox, who added some backing vocals, piano, trumpet, and guitar to round out each song.
He opened with the title track from his latest album and then moved to a cut from Music City USA, “Are We Lonesome Yet.” Of course, he had to throw in the fan favorite “Welcome To Hard Times” before introducing a song he wrote at the request of a friend, called “The Death Of Bill Bailey.”
“Well, I learned how to stand behind my guitar, playing on street corners and working farm parties all across America. Especially spent a lot of time in the French corridor of New Orleans, Louisiana, and I learned this old song written back in about 1902 there on Frenchman Street called “Bill Bailey”.
And it just so happened that a friend called me a ways back and asked me if I could write an original song kinda based on that man’s life, so I did that.”
He finished up the set with “Odessa”, another track from his most recent album that he released a music video for at the end of last year.
If there’s a better way to take you into the weekend than with an acoustic Charley Crockett set, I don’t know what it is.
Cheers to the weekend and enjoy.