Charley Crockett

The Valley (and Other Biographical Tunes) (Son of Davy)

Texas Platters

A week before open-heart surgery, 35-year-old Texas troubadour Charley Crockett entered the studio to record a sketching of his hardscrabble life story. Best to get it down for posterity, just in case. Crockett not only survived, but produced another landmark in his ascendant career. Over aching pedal steel guitar, the title track retraces its author's steps from San Benito to Dallas: "My daddy didn't know me, my brother rolled the dice/ My mama kept on working, and my sister paid a price." Crockett dabbles in roots music of all kinds – blues, zydeco, and R&B, with "If Not the Fool" summoning a soul tune dressed in boots and a 10-gallon hat – but The Valley ponies up a pure honky-tonk affair. Take "10,000 Acres," perfect in its unhurried pauses, which places pain and pity on a pinpoint: "I've got a dollar in my pocket, it won't help me much in bringing back your love/ But if you selling heartache, then I'm buying." "Excuse Me" doubles down, but it's not all sadass songs. Crockett, who spent years busking, hitchhiking, and train hopping, takes us down dusty roads and lonesome highways on "Motel Time Again" and "The Way I'm Livin' (Santa Rosa)." Life on the road ain't easy, but Crockett remains grateful all the same: "If the way I'm living seem like just a mess, believe me I would choose this life over the rest."

****


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Charley Crockett
Honky-Tonk Soul Man Charley Crockett Makes His Move
Honky-Tonk Soul Man Charley Crockett Makes His Move
The singer's long road to Austin

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

ACL Fest Interview: Charley Crockett
ACL Fest Interview: Charley Crockett
Local country-soul man samples his wares on the BMI stage

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Thomas Fawcett
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
A child of funk who lost his brother to police brutality soundtracks a revolution on BLK VINTAGE

Aug. 13, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Dallas Acid blows some bubbles, KUTX remembers the Armadillo, and more music for the moment

Aug. 14, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Charley Crockett

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle