Charley Crockett Tributes James Hand with “Lesson in Depression”

photo: Ryan Vestil

Charley Crockett is one of the most formidable country artists for keeping the flame of authentic country music burning at the moment. With purpose and a servant’s heart, he leans into this charge once again with this unexpected cover of the James Hand song “Lesson in Depression,” which was one of the signature licks on Hand’s 2012 album Mighty Lonesome Man.

James Hand passed away on June 8th, 2020 at the age of 68. Considered one of the most authentic individuals to ever lend a voice to country, Hand’s music career didn’t start until he was 47-years-old. But over time, he became a legend of the Texas honky tonks and beyond. Charley was first turned onto James Hand in Memphis a few years back While Hand was performing the old Tom T. Hall song “How I Got To Memphis.”

“I was up for an Ameripolitan Award a couple years back and I went down to one of Dale Watson’s showcases at Blues City on Beale Street,” Charley Crockett says. “Well ol’ Slim got up on stage with the band and they went in to that old Tom T. Hall number. I think James Hand is the greatest living honky tonker, and he had me in tears with the way he was singing those lyrics. He chokes me up every time I hear him sing.

Charley Crockett puts his “Gulf & Western” spin on “Lesson in Depression,” adding that dollop of throwback classic style to the lonesome honky tonk song written by James Hand. “Willie Nelson called him ‘The Real Deal’ and I’m telling you right now it’s a fact that there wasn’t a more authentic character in country music during James’ lifetime,” Charley Crockett says.

Crockett released his latest record Welcome to Hard Times in 2020, but hasn’t been wasting any time since. He released another cover song in the form of Billy Swan’s 1974 song “I Can Help” which has been soaring on the radio charts, currently sitting at #2 on Americana radio, and has been receiving a lot of attention on AAA radio as well.

Charley Crockett also said upon the release of the new single, “My heart and mind have been heavy over the struggles of my fellow Texans. I will be donating proceeds from my new single to Texas disaster relief groups. Because the need is immediate, myself, my label partner Thirty Tigers, and my management The Next Waltz will be donating today to the Mutual Aid groups in Austin and Houston, and Feed The People in Dallas. If you have the means to do so I encourage you to donate to these worthy causes.”

Mutual Aid Austin, Mutual Aid Houston and Feed The People Dallas

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