Charley Crockett tours a lot, he played over 200 shows last year. He talks a lot – his onstage banter alone is worth the price of admission. He plays fast and he plays well. BOON reviewed him on his last tour of the UK and we loved him. He’s coming to the UK in September to play a short run of shows, including the Long Road festival.
Crockett’s unique approach to American roots music — a mix of Texas blues, classic country and Cajun soul — has earned him an audience on both sides of the Atlantic. He cut his teeth as a street performer, busking on the corners of New Orleans and the subway cars of New York City.
He pays tribute to those busking days with his new album, Lil G.L.’s Blue Bonanza, an album stocked with Crockett’s own interpretations of old-school country songs and half-forgotten blues gems. Featuring 15 songs originally performed by George Jones, Ernest Tubb, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Reed, Charles Brown, Lavelle White, Ray Charles, and others, Blue Bonanza shines a light on a modern musician with traditional roots. It’s also the second release in his ongoing Lil G.L. series, following 2017’s Lil G.L.’s Honky Tonk Jubilee.
“The roots of the street are deep in this album,” says Crockett, who co-produced Blue Bonanza during two days of inspired, live-in-the-studio recording. He tracked the songs with his road band, capturing the chemistry generated by a year of heavy touring. Together, Crockett and company decorated these songs with upright bass, electric guitar, mandolin, pedal steel and Wurlitzer, combining acoustic and amplified instruments into the same retro-minded mix. He adds “There’s a lot of accordion and trumpet here too and that comes from me playing with brass bands in New Orleans. I heard a lot of jug bands doing old-school music down there, and I’m just trying to keep that old sound together.”
Charley Crockett shows in the UK:
SEP 1 SUN. Oslo Hackney, London
SEP 2 MON. Prince Albert, Brighton
SEP 4 WED. Night & Day Cafe, Manchester
SEP 5 THU. Broadcast, Glasgow
SEP 6 FRI. Cluny, Newcastle Upon Tyne
SEP 7 SAT. The Long Road Festival, Leicestershire
If you want a good time, go and see Charley Crockett. You won’t be disappointed.