REVIEW: Charley Crockett “Music City USA”


Charley Crockett – Music City USA

On the heels of well-received pandemic era release Welcome to Hard Times, Charley Crockett is back with Music City USA – another spectacular addition to his rapidly growing catalogue. Initially presented as a tribute to Nashville of yesteryear replete with an album cover recreation of a Waylon Jennings album.

Upon closer inspection, and listening, one realizes that for Charley Crockett Music City USA is any city USA. Steeped in traditional country songcraft Crockett’s Music City includes Memphis soul, New Orleans jazz, and the wide-open sounds of the West. Crockett’s country would be better described as Western, but just like Bob’s Country Bunker he’s got both kinds of music, “Country and Western” to inform his take on American music.

The caliber of Crockett’s songcraft hides in the seemingly simple and familiar melodies of a bygone era. Each of these tunes could slide seamlessly into my grandfather’s record collection and find welcomed company on that shelf. Yet each track stands self-assured and confident in its message, melody, and imaginative approach to a hardscrabble life constantly on the roam. Crockett has lived that life in deed as much as in song. Years of misfires and misstarts in some shadows of life even less amenable to longevity than itinerant musicians left Crockett with a hunger and focus that can’t be easily rattled.

Now with his high Western style, his lonesome drawl, and adept turn of phrase Crockett’s star continues to rise. Songs like “Round This World,” “The World Just Broke My Heart,” and “Honest Fight” not only showcase the power of his skills but the promise of more to come as well.

Word on the street is that Charley Crockett has several albums of material ready and waiting to be recorded. Let’s hope he heads back into the studio soon!

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