Charley Crockett’s aptly-named Welcome To Hard Times, produced by Mark Neil, features songwriting collaborations with Pat McLaughlin and Dan Auerbach and is set to establish Crockett as the bold young voice in country and western’s modern reinvention.
From life saving heart surgery to a twice convicted felon – Charley has lived it all and captures it in this accomplished album of classic country, psychedelic Spaghetti Western, country soul and rhythm & blues. Welcome To Hard Times may draw on vintage sounds but they perfectly fit these current troubled times
Crockett was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a congenital heart condition and underwent an immediate life saving operation. The experience gifted him with the confidence to be bold in his aims, “I wanted to make an album that would reclaim the entire conversation about country music.”
Part of the conversation for Charley is often a fixation and confusion around his racial identity. Charley is white passing and ethnically diverse. Charley’s Dad’s mother was biracial, with black and white parents. He also has Jewish and Creole heritage. Charley has felt like his diverse heritage and identity has often felt like the beginning and end of conversation when it comes to the country scene. He recently addressed the issue on Instagram when showing support for Black Lives Matter movement. “Though I’ve benefited greatly from my whiteness, I have never fully identified with any race. So I’ve lived as an outcast at war with myself in a society that I both love and hate at the same time. My music tells this story. If you don’t know how race or class affects experience, it’s the first sign of privilege.”
Hard Times will resonate with many who are starting to feel their luck is determined, and whilst experiencing many of life’s hardships, Crockett’s record is a story of hope, persistence and self belief. He grew up in poverty, lived homeless and busked his way from New Orleans to the subway platforms of New York City. He lost his sister to addiction and he is a twice convicted felon. Despite these challenges Charley has 36 million global streams from seven self album releases, debuts at the Grand Ole Opry and at the Newport Folk Festival and with significant support from NPR to Rolling Stone, he is finally poised to make his breakthrough.
Artist’s website: http://www.charleycrockett.com/
‘Welcome To Hard Times’ – official video: