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CHARLEY CROCKETT — LONESOME AS A SHADOW  (Thirty Tigers)

www.thirtytigers.com

Benito, Texas-born blues singer, Charley Crockett’s music enjoys a great deal of freedom as you have country, rock, pop and country soul merge into a package in support of his strong, emotive vocals. He throws quite a wide loop, reason being he was once a street musician in New Orleans, it was there he absorbed a great deal of traditional mountain music, honky tonk country, an his travelling doesn’t stop there because apart from New York’s subways, California his music also took him to mainland Europe.  

“How Long Will I Last” boosts hints of Memphis where the record was recorded and Muscle Shoals. It isn’t the only occasion he takes a trip Down South, since the track that follows in the album’s running order “If Not The Fool” likewise stretches Americana’s boundaries. Though excellent there’s a bunch more on the record I would place ahead of it. I prefer the likes of a funky tale that takes the listener on a trip through Louisiana via the brass warmed, “Help Me Georgia” and with tinkling piano and sympathetic lead guitar “Lonesome As A Shadow” that help cement a groove not only Crockett would be proud of. 

"Sad & Blue" sees his music detour a touch too far for Americana, albeit the swirling organ connects; he is better staying closer to Americana roots music. The record was in need of as change as “Lil’ Girl’s Name” burst out of the traps even if it is loaded in soul, but the energy of lead guitar and solid rhythms he gains approval. Crockett’s songs but for “Ain’t Gotta Worry Child” are all under three minutes as he revisits some of the old ways, how many singer-songwriters trying to make it tend to go for songs lasting around (a long) five minutes and leave the listener wondering was there a need for a good editor! Whipping up a storm Crockett and his band, that include a little sax adding to accordion, piano, lead guitar and a rock solid rhythm speak of “Goin’ Back To Texas”. Texas is also the focal point on the stellar opening cut “I Wanna Cry”, and with him delivering those treasures lines I woke up this morning he follows it with the infectious swing (due to liberal use of pedal steel guitar) like “The Sky’d Becomes Teardrops”. At the closing of which Crockett s asks Jerry, (Lee Lewis) is your ol’ leg wiggling? 

Closing piece, “Change Yo’ Mind” is up there with his best, and with his loose easy style the record Charley Crockett gets to ride off into the sunset smelling of roses.  

Maurice Hope   

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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