Country music will not be saved in the studio. It will not be recorded on the radio and it will not be recorded by graphics or trending TikTok sound. No, country music will be saved by live performances. No artist knows this better than Charley Crockett, a prolific independent country singer from San Benito, Texas. As country transforms into a bold mimicry of pop music, Charley Crockett and his peers keep the soul of country alive with the waltzes, ballads and steel guitars that made it a founding genre of American music. today. On September 15, Crockett brought that sound to Boston for a taste of a honky-tonk sound’s cornucopia night.
No one does it like Charley Crockett. With a trumpet fanfare straight out of a western movie, Crocket took to the stage like a cowboy riding his trusty steed, opening without irony with his original, “Run Horse Run”. The “hiyahs” on the stage drew a thunderous roar from the crowd of country fans who came on a Wednesday night for the genre that rarely turns so far north. Crockett’s western attire was matched only by his theatrical acting style. Holding his guitar like a trophy in front of him, he walked smoothly and dramatically across the stage. More a drummer than a picker, Crocket wore his guitar high on his chest to adorn his traditional outfit. With his shoulder against the instrument like a rifle butt, the singer stared at the neck of the guitar as if gazing at the site of a cannon – a sniper of sound. It’s the dedication to look and sound that sets Crockett apart from the rest. Anyone can wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, but owning the monotonous brown outfit – keeping the suede jacket on all night, with the guitar placed in a cartoonish way – is a premeditated dedication to the spirit of the Where is.
A series of four songs of original music helped keep the high-energy entry alive. The downside of an hour and a half in a typical Nashville honky-tonk bar is usually the repetition of chord progressions and sounds in short, punchy songs or long, painful ballads. But Crockett’s originals overlap with the influence of blues and old-fashioned folk sounds that filled the room and frequently changed the pace of his performance. Nonetheless, Crockett is well known for his covers; his cover of “I Can Help” by Billy Swan and that of “Jamestown Ferry” by Tanya Tucker are some of his most popular releases. After his first run, he welcomed the crowd to the show and presented his upcoming songs as a tribute to one of his country inspirations: James Hand. Although he released a ten-song James Hand cover album, “10 for Slim,” this year, the cover interludes that would occur throughout the show are where the show has settled. Crockett shared some advice from Hand: “Anyone can pray for rain, better dig a well, son! If the well is a vast repertoire of covers, for better or for worse, Crockett has dug it.
But even the longest stretches of slow-paced, rhythmic honky-tonk songs were kept captivating by the masterful skills of Crockett’s band, the Bluedrifters. Steel guitarist Nathan Fleming stayed on stage all night, performing alongside opener Lucas Hudgins, spicing up every song with classic and progressive guitar licks. But instrumentalist Kullen Fox has stolen the show from anyone who cares. Fox provided all of the musical intricacies of the show as a trumpeter, pianist, mandolin player, and accordion player – sometimes playing two instruments at once! His passionate trumpet solo during “Trinity River” captured the hearts of the crowd and rivaled the applause of the encore.
Crockett ended his show with a 5-piece string orchestra playing folk tunes from yesteryear. Back on stage with a banjo strapped to his chest, watching an audience chanting his name, Crockett ended the night with a final homage to original country, old-fashioned bluegrass. While it may take a few years for country singers like Crockett to be the Saturday night headliners in Boston, a sold-out Wednesday night show could be an indicator of the return of country to mainstream audiences that fans of. Crockett are already seeing it coming.
– Editor Jacob R. Jimenez can be contacted at [email protected]