July 10 2021

I Need Your Love- Charley Crockett

Just one day ago, Charley Crockett released his newest single, “I Need Your Love,” in preparation for another record. Crockett Plans to release his 10th album since 2015, Music City USA, mid-September.

This soulful teaser to the upcoming album, “I Need Your Love,” was written by Crockett and Mark Neill. The song seems to me to have a Motown feel that is mixed with Charley’s styled country and rockabilly sound.

Mark Neill produced, Welcome to Hard Times, which was released by Charley Crockett in 2020. He has stuck with Charley for this upcoming album, Music City USA.

Mark Neill is a producer with over 30 years of experience. He has won awards for his work as a producer including a Grammy for “Best Alternative Music Album,” for his work with the Black Keys. Charley Crockett has stated that Neill is the only person who could have brought his vision to life. I believe in Charley and cannot wait to hear what’s in store on this next album.

“Sad, uplifting, hard, and sweet, complex and delicate all at once, his songs are like life itself, just like the songs’ creator: like nothing you’ve heard or seen before, a genuine Texas original.”

Joe Nick Patoski

About the new album and Charley Crockett Joe Nick Patoski wrote, “Sad, uplifting, hard, and sweet, complex and delicate all at once, his songs are like life itself, just like the songs’ creator: like nothing you’ve heard or seen before, a genuine Texas original.”

I whole heartedly agree with Patoski. Listening to Crockett brings me a breath of fresh air in this dust storm called life. Crockett has a way with words. Listening to the ranges of music on any of Charley’s songs brings me great pleasure. Charley Crockett is a skilled songwriter whose songs give his listeners a view to deep inside of his soul.

I have been to several concerts this year, and have tried to make the best of life in this post pandemic world we are living in. Seeing Charley Crockett Live last May is one of the Highlights of my own life in this trying year. If you ever get a chance to see this showman in action, you should take the opportunity. Just as Charley’s songs I could listen to over and over and still be able to appreciate the volume of skill that this man displays, I feel that I could see Charley Crockett and his band night after night and still never grow bored. You never know what is coming next. His variation of songs are all so different yet all of them contain a vintage feel that I have grown to love.

Pancho.

July 1 2021

VNE album Review

Got My copy of Vincent Neil Emerson’s self-titled album in the mail. I have already played it in it’s entirety several times over.

I am the kind of guy who has to hear the album from start to finish on the first go around. Some people just pick and choose the songs they want to hear or even worse, press shuffle- I don’t understand that.

The producer- and the artist- in this case, Rodney Crowell and Vincent Neil Emerson arranged the album in exactly the way they intended it to be listened to.

So far my two favorite songs from the album are both found on it’s B-Side. “The Ballad of the ChoctawApache” and “High on Gettin’ By.”

The Ballad of the Choctaw Apache” is a tune about how the rich man came and flooded the land that once belonged to an Indian Tribe. Through the songs lyrics, VNE gets pretty deep and emotionally involved as he has every right to- Vincent Neil Edwards was raised solely by his mom, a descendant of the Choctaw and Apache Nations. The song includes Native American flute music that makes the musical arrangement more than amazing.

“I hope that dirty reservoir was worth all the lives you scarred,” VNE sings, “Well a hundred eighty thousand acres of ancestral land… flooded by the damn.. But it just don’t mean a thing to the faces in your hand.”

It doesn’t take a wise man to see that those faces in the rich man’s hand were all looking back from the money they made by washing out the land that was so sacred to the people who lived on and off it.

High on Getting By,” also has some profound lyrics. I can really relate to this song as I have been working for the man all of my life and still have dreams that my future is going to be better than life is today.

Like a bird caught in a store I been searchin’ for the door But There ain’t no clear direction when you ain’t needed anymore.” Sings VNE

These lines speak loudly to me. This song inspires me. I have given my all and sometimes it feels that I just haven’t given enough. I know that my spirit must be taken back into some realm of control and that the things in my mind aren’t always what reality is- but I also know that I am the only one who can make the move. I have the faith and strength in God to direct my thoughts and I must provide the action. I am ready to take the next step- In a forward motion.

All the songs on the album were written by Vincent Neil Emerson. The album was dedicated to Emerson’s son Clyde. VNE gives a big shout out to thank so many who have helped him on this road including Charley Crockett, Willie Nelson, his mom and his wife Jeri Leeann.

On the back of the album one of Rodney Crowell’s notes does a bit of name dropping, calling out some of my all time favorites-

“When asked to explain the Texas singer/songwriter/poet mystique, I often said the Guy Clark was a regional artist with global appeal, that his literary sensibilities one could say that he and Larry McMurtry were cut from a similar cloth… And that Townes Van Zandt’s allure was, much like Dylan’s, rooted in his effortless access to the higher realms of archetypal imagery. To put it simply, he made incredibly complex songwriting sound easy. Add Willie Nelson to the mix and you have the Texas Trifecta.”

Rodney Crowell

Vincent Neil Emerson’s skill with his abilities as a songwriter could be compared to all of these men mentioned in Rodney’s quote.

I love this album and I hope you will give it a listen or ten… thousand.

Pancho

May 8 2021

Crockett/Daniels at Ector Theatre

Only a few short blocks from my home in Odessa, Texas is the historic Ector Theatre. This structure has laid dormant for much of my adult life. Recently the entire theatre was renovated and has reopened the doors. I have driven past this old theatre located at Texas and 5th many times, but last night was the first time, I had ever entered the building or stepped under it’s grand marque.

For Charley Crockett, it was his first time too. He was performing in Odessa for the first time since forming the Charley Crockett Band. Crockett entertained a packed audience full of the old and the young, representing many ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Just looking around at this mixed crowd, I felt connected with them. Connected not only by this Odessa, the place we all called home, but also connected by our love of music. I was pleased with the turnout to support this Up-and-Coming musician. I was more than impressed by the talent that Charley and his band displayed. Just as diverse as Charley’s fan base is his music. These songs ranged from honky tonk country, to classic oldies, rhythm and blues. Many of the songs were original pieces by Charley himself, while others were penned by the late James “Slim” Hand. More than once, Crockett and his five pieced band, pushed the limits of their guitar strings, drums and keys and really rocked the house. For me, the multi-instrumentals along with Charley’s powerful and unique voice were the best parts. There were horns, a stand-up bass, the ring of the steel guitar, and ragtime piano flavor. Much of the music flooded my ears as if straight out of an old western saloon. I enjoyed the encore performance of “Lilly My Dear,” during which Charley traded his guitar for a banjo, and the drummer picked up an accordion.

Crockett belting the lyrics of Lilly my darling, Lilly my dear, For what awful reason have you come down here? really seemed to get the crowd excited. I even noticed a few couples dancing in the aisles of the partitioned theatre seats.

My wife remarked about Crockett’s smooth moves and she could see Charley Crockett’s dedication.

“Like it or not, he is true to himself. That impresses me, especially in a world where it is too easy to lose yourself and be what everyone else thinks you ought to be,” remarked my wife, Jennifer.

“Like it or not, he is true to himself. That impresses me, especially in a world where it is too easy to lose yourself and be what everyone else thinks you ought to be,”

Jennifer Graves Watson

As well as seeing the headliner Charley Crockett, my wife and I also got to enjoy a performance by Jesse Daniel. Daniel has been reincarnating a mellow country and “Bakersfield Sound” into the genre of Red Dirt and Texas Country music. I enjoyed watching his band and backup singers immensely.  His songs are full of heartfelt lyrics. His music sounds the way I think that country music should be. At one point during his set, Jesse Daniel sang a few verses in Spanish, which brought much joy to the audience based on their reactive cheers and whistles.  I had the honor to briefly speak to him at the merch table and was glowing to be able to shake the hand of this wonderful artist. Jesse Daniel is someone I regularly follow on social media and listen to on Spotify. I feel that he is going places and will be standing on top sooner than later.

I was more than pleased after purchasing tickets for the theatre to see Charley Crockett’s show when I learned that Jesse Daniel had been added to the bill. It would have been well worth seeing either artist play live, being able to see both of them at the same venue on the same night for me was priceless.

As a fan of music I am thankful that these artists and the many others whom I have grown to love are able to be back out on the road making their living as they entertain us.. the fan.

Pancho.

April 29 2021

Lilly

I am a fan of Singer/Songwriters. I am always seeking to find the original versions and voices of a song.  I was just listening to Charley Crockett’s “Lilly My Dear.

I am a big fan of Charley Crockett and have been following him a lot lately. I will soon get to catch my first live show of this artist and I am super stoked. Everything he puts out he does with such passion and pride and it all sounds like it could be one of my very favorite songs at that given moment. I always enjoy watching Charley’s music videos. I could watch them 100 times over and I still could like them again.

In looking at the song “Lilly My Dear,” from it’s track listing. The song comes from Crockett’s Welcome to Hard Times album. It was co written by of course Charley himself, also Colin Colby, Vincent Neil Emerson and Tyler Heiser.

South Texas Tweek

Wait what? Tyler Heiser.. I now know of him. I love everything about him and truly believe in what he is doing with his music. This boi has some real talent, and a heart as big as TEXAS. I know Tyler Heiser as South Texas Tweek. 50 Dollars a week is one of the South Texas Tweek’s latest singles and it was co-written with Charley Crockett. These two Texans are on my radar and I can’t wait to see what else the two will collaborate together.

Vincent Neil Emerson.

Through this experience of finding these co-creators of “Lilly My Dear” I also discovered Vincent Neil Emerson. His song “Willie Nelson’s Wall,” was a treat to find today of all days. As today is Shotgun Willie’s 88th Birthday.

Willie Hugh Nelson Born on this day April 29, 1933 in Abott Texas.

Vincent Neil Emerson is a singer/songwriter from Van Zandt County in East Texas. He has been playing classic sounding country music since his early twenties. Emerson’s debut album, Fried Chicken & Evil Women, released in September 2019 from LaHonda Records.

Colin Colby

Colin Colby is an Austin, Texas based Indie Musician who often tours with Charley Crockett. I just had to go check him out on Spotify. I can really get behind the tones of “Everyone Wants to Be Young.

I’ll just keep watching and listening to these 4 artists as they are all wonderful solo. In “Lilly My Dear,” a project they did together I think they were phenomenal.

Pancho.

April 13 2021

Rollin’ On

Sittin’ here, feelin’ low with a lack of inspiration

Lookin’ for someone to solve it all

This is the first verse of the Jesse Daniel’s song “Rollin’ On.”

Rollin’ On,” is the title track on Jesse Daniel’s second album. This album is packed full of great music. Jessie Daniel is a singer/ songwriter originally from California who now is based in Austin, Texas. His music reflects that “Bakersfield Sound.” His inspirations as a songwriter are rooted in California country and western.  His music has been inspired by that “Bakersfield Sound,” similar to other California country musicians, Merle Haggard and the great Buck Owens.

Jesse Daniel’s music reflects his California upbringing as well as what happened and what it’s like now. He spent some dark times in addiction and institutions and he found happiness in a sober way of living. As of now, Daniel has been sober for over 3 years.

On Jesse’s own website the album Rollin’ On is described as an arc, from the bottomed-out lows of his darker days to the ever-escalating heights of his present. The intro to his webpage calls this album his best work to date.

American Songwriter had this to say:

“Rollin’ On is an uplifting expression of Daniel’s commitment to his sobriety, his love for California’s often underappreciated country style”

AMERICAN SONGWRITER

Shooter Jennings talked on XM radio about Jessie Daniel :

“Jesse Daniel is badass…this dude’s the next one to blow up.”

SHOOTER JENNINGS

I agree with Shooter. After hearing some of Jesse’s music I agree that he has only begun his long lived career. If his second album is this good and enjoyable to listen to I can only imagine how much more his talent will grow once he is able to spread his wings and fly.

Wielding his Fender Telecaster Deluxe, the Jesse Daniel has been touring regularly and he often performs with artists like Shooter Jennings. He has recently tweeted that he has added more dates to play alongside Charley Crockett. At the beginning of next month, I will have the opportunity to see Jesse and Charley at a live show. I already know it is going to be an amazing time.

Pancho.

February 21 2021

I Can Help

American country singer/songwriter, Billy Swan, is best known for his hit song “I Can Help.” Swan is also known as a former member of Kris Kristofferson’s band. In fact the hit song was written on an organ that Kris and Rita Coolidge gave Billy and Marlu Swan as a wedding gift. Billy and Marlu would maintain a happy marriage for over thirty years, until Marlu’s passing of cancer in February of 2003. It was In a room that Marlu had repurposed as a music room in the Swan’s Nashville home, that Billy sat down at the organ and the words and music began to flow.

                              If you’ve got a problem, don’t care what it is

                              If you need a hand, I can assure you this

                             I can help, I’ve got two strong arms, I can help

                            It would sure do me good to do you good

                                                         Let me help…

“I Can Help,” was written in March of 1974 and recorded around the same time at Young’un Sound studio in Murfreesboro, TN. Producer Chip Young recalled that the song’s single release by Monument in July of that year was in order to finance a much larger composition, an album to include the song. Besides Young, the rest of the record company was in agreement that the single, “Ways of A Woman in Love,” should be the first single for the album. Young knew then and was right that the hit song was, “I Can Help.”  The song was an immediate success in the American country and pop charts. The song also reached #1 status in multiple countries including Canada, Norway, France, Germany, and Australia.

You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas

Davy Crockett

My favorite coffee cup reads, “You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas,” a quote by the American folk hero, politician, frontiersman, turned soldier Davy Crockett. I like to remember Davy Crockett as a larger than life hero. A man who would rush in to save the day, with little care or concern for himself.

That is what I most think the song “I Can Help” says to me. If you’ve got a problem, I am here for you, No Matter What. Like a valiant knight rushing in to save a damsel in distress, I Can Help! I would hope that I am thought of as that kind of guy to the people who cross my path.

                             Don’t forget me, babe, all you gotta do is call.

I have always strived to be the You know I have your back kind of person. Sometimes I do fall short in this way of thinking. Life’s experience has proven that I can do many or most anything that I put my mind to. I am a fixer and a builder. The kind of people I like to be around are the people who believe in my accomplishments and who support me and encourage me to be the best man that I can be and who truly believe that I can accomplish this or that. Even when I do not think I can do it myself. My wife has been my biggest supporter in this belief. Just yesterday when my old pickup truck died, through her encouragement I fixed it. Things like that I would have never tried to even begin to accomplish had it not been for her belief in me. I can help!  And she shows me that I have more power than I ever thought I have.

A distant relative of my hero, Davy Crockett, is Texas musician, Charley Crockett. In January of this year, he recorded his version of the Billy Swan song, “I Can Help.”

The Crockett version of the song was produced by Bruce Robison at his Texas based studio, The Next Waltz.

Charley Crockett takes the same old song and has made it his own. In the Charley way, his talent and style, coupled with a country and blues voice. Charley has an ability to pour out the trials and tribulations in his own life into a song. Charley reminds me of that valiant knight or that larger than life hero Davy Crockett who killed a bear with his own hand.

Pancho.

February 18 2021

50 Dollars a Week- Crockett/Tweek

Attention all you Tweeks and Freaks, here is some more new music that released in Texas just before the world froze over.

This South Texas Tweek performance was co-written with Charley Crockett .“50 Dollars a Week,”  is a song about working hard for little pay.

Hard times happen, and we as humans have to overcome. When we are working hard to support our loved ones we don’t mind. I have worked my hands black more than once in my life. I have been through some hard times. This is music that I can relate to. A man should never be afraid of hard work.

Charley Crockett is used to hard times. Last May, Crockett announced the release of his new album, Welcome to Hard Times.  

Charley grew up in a trailer park in Los Fresnos way down in the southern tip of the Great State of Texas. At the age of 17 he left home and began making music. He played on the streets of New Orleans and in and around the arts and entertainment district Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. Crockett has worked on farms and communes. He has spent some time on the wrong side of the law including being arrested on possession charges. He has done his time, and put his troubles into his blues and americana music.

Charley began playing guitar on one his mother had purchased for him at a pawn shop.

“I taught myself how to play and started to write songs immediately, without any chord knowledge or anything. I didn’t know what key I was in for 12 years, but my ear was really good, and I could play in any key and any chord. I just didn’t know what it was.”

Charley Crockett- Via Wikipedia

In the last few years, Charley Crockett has released multiple singles and has written and/or co wrote several songs.

I like Crockett’s style and South Texas Tweek’s voice and skill as a musician accompanies Crockett’s music well.

I enjoy the new tunes coming out from these guys and I know there is a future ahead for the both of them.

Pancho.