Charley Crockett Brings Cinematic Vision to “Run Horse Run”

Charley Crockett has a new album called Welcome To Hard Times coming out July 31st, and though sometimes album releases can blend into the background, and with how prolific Crockett has been recently (he just released a 30-song field recordings album earlier this year), maybe this one is just floating on the periphery of your radar. But Welcome To Hard Times feels like it’s got some additional gusto behind it, and is worth paying extra attention to.

The song and video for the title track released in May already had us intrigued, but now Crockett has released the song “Run Horse Run” with its Spaghetti Western vibe and Johnny Cash cadence, and it’s accompanied by another video that fits into a greater narrative that he’s looking to build through the album. It’s one of multiple videos Crockett shot in the Sierra Nevada with co-director Bobby Cochran, with two of the constants being an alarm clock and a canary yellow rotary phone.

Producer Mark Neill understood Crockett’s vision for this album, and that it had a visual component to it. “Mark understood where I wanted to take the music,” says Charley Crockett. “He heard what I had written and he said: ‘This is a movie. We have to tell this story.’”

A lot is being made about Charley Crockett at the moment, because a lot is being made about race at the moment. With his multicultural background (part white, black, and Jewish, with Creole experiences mixed in there, and a direct line to Davy Crockett), Charley recognizes this has become a fixation by many, but he’s not fond of labels, and would rather the music speak for itself.

“I have some ethnic diversity and I’m also someone who has had the privilege of being exposed to a diverse and rich range of regional culture throughout my life—all of it has had impact and made me the man I am today … Real country music is for everyone. If radio would play this kind of music, people would respond in a big way, just like they do at the live shows.”

One thing you can call Charley Crockett is real country, and real good. Perhaps the clock in the videos symbolizes how the time for him is now, and the phone is him answering the call. Charley says the inspiration behind “Run Horse Run” is as an underdog, you have to work extra hard to achieve what others might have land right in their lap. You have to come from the back of the field, and hope to surprise everyone at the finish line.

Welcome to Hard Times is now available for pre-order.