The hardest working man in country music, and the reigning Saving Country Music Artist of the Year is at it again. Just a few months after releasing his latest covers record, Jukebox Charley, Charley Crockett has just announced a new original album called The Man from Waco to be released on September 9th via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers, ensuring Crockett keeps up with his prolific two-albums-per-year clip.
Charley Crockett is certainly not hurting for recorded content, but there are quite a few things that will make The Man from Waco unique from his previous releases. First, Crockett breaks his streak of working with producer Billy Horton for the new album, and instead goes with the man who has been managing Crockett for a while now, Texas music legend Bruce Robison. The album was recorded at Bruce’s studio The Bunker just outside of Austin, TX in Lockhart where Robison also records all of his stuff for his song/profile series The Next Waltz.
Also making the album unique, Crockett recorded it entirely with his backing band The Blue Drifters as opposed to bringing in auxiliary players. And even though Charley oscillates between original records and cover records paying tribute to past greats, his original albums also tend to have a few cover songs too. On The Man from Waco, Crockett writes or co-writes all 14 tracks, including a few written with Blue Drifter multi-instrumentalist Kullen Fox, and one where Bob Dylan gets an interpolated credit.
This approach allows The Man from Waco to carry a loose but cohesive theme throughout the album—something Charley Crockett hasn’t really dabbled with in his previous original records. The album is bookended by a theme song, and bisected by the title track. Some will bellyache that there has been too much Charley Crockett in too short of a window. Those people should probably check out what Zach Bryan is doing these days. But Crockett remains undeterred by his critics, many of whom seem to coagulate around Saving Country Music comments sections.
“Everybody was telling me: ‘go right, go right, go right,’” says Crockett. “I went left. I had to hold on to what has gotten me this far.”
As for working with Bruce Robison, Crockett says, “I just wanted an honest partnership: do it at your place, live to tape, everybody in the room. The magic is in the performances on that tape. That’s what Bruce wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to do. When we were done, I said ‘these are masters, not demos.’”
Charley Crockett just continues to follow his gut, and it’s gotten him pretty far. The Man from Waco can now be pre-ordered, and a new song “I’m Just a Clown” showing off Crockett’s soulful side can be heard below.
1. The Man From Waco Theme (Charley Crockett, Kullen Fox)
2. Cowboy Candy (Charley Crockett)
3. Time Of The Cottonwood Trees (Charley Crockett)
4. Just Like Honey (Charley Crockett, Kullen Fox)
5. I’m Just A Clown (Charley Crockett)
6. Black Sedan (Charley Crockett, Kullen Fox)
7. The Man From Waco (Charley Crockett, Bruce Robison, Kullen Fox, Taylor Grace)
8. Trinity River (Charley Crockett)
9. Tom Turkey (Charley Crockett, Bob Dylan) *
10. Odessa (Charley Crockett, Nathan Fleming)
11. All The Way From Atlanta (Charley Crockett)
12. Horse Thief Mesa (Charley Crockett)
13. July Jackson (Charley Crockett, Taylor Grace)
14. The Man From Waco Theme (Charley Crockett, Kullen Fox)
*contains interpolations from Billy 4