Country Music People March 2019 - Page 46

albumreviews CHARLEY CROCKETT Lil G.L.’s Blues Bonanza  Here I Am / That’s How I Got To Memphis / It’s A Man Down There / Travelin’ Blues / Trouble Blues / The Race Is On / Burn Another Honky Tonk Down / Good Time Charley’s Got The Blues / Lots Of Luck / Servant Of Love / Bright Lights Big City / A Dime At A Time / T-Bone Shuffle / Saturday Satan, Sunday Saint / Lead Me On Producer: Charley Crockett Son Of Davy 39:32 46 cmp - MARCH 2019 Charley Crockett has an interesting view on what he calls timeless songs; he says “I’ve always believed the more timeless songs you learn how to play, the more timeless songs you can write.” These are certainly timeless songs, old country and blues gems which evoke pleasant memories and, given this treatment, enhance your enjoyment of some of your favourite tunes. It’s a process Crockett has enjoyed success with before, his 2017 album Lil GL’s Honky Tonk Jubilee contained his interpretations of such classics as I Ain’t Never, Am I That Easy To Forget and even Jamestown Ferry. An eclectic mix, yes; but this is a man who revels in the tag of “stylistic chameleon”. The key to the success is in the way the originals are treated. Crockett has a distinctive vocal style, very bluesy and delightfully soulful in all the right places, which makes him able to give each of these timeless songs a new lease of life. The “Lil GL” tag is a nickname given to him by Texan musician Jay Moeller who likened his style to that of GL Crockett, originator of It’s A Man Down There. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and even though I was unfamiliar with the originals of some of the more blues based offerings I found the treatment given to such classics as The Race Is On, Bright Lights, Big City and That’s How I Got To Memphis a source of joy. I am aware that this side of the ocean material of this ilk invites the “is it or isn’t it” question from all sides of the ongoing debate on what country music should be and my guess is the British market will either love it or dismiss it as not our cup of tea. Crockett not only delivers a distinctive vocal, I would describe his treatment of the songs as thoughtful; he clearly seeks to put his own stamp on the original but is careful to do so without bending it beyond recognition. Have a listen; if Charley Crockett is your cup of tea I think you may agree this is not just any old cuppa, this is afternoon tea at The Ritz. Chris Smith