Thirty Tigers / Cooking Vinyl Australia
Descendant of legendary frontiersman Davy, traveling troubadour and heart surgery survivor – Charley Crockett sure has a big back story. The most pleasing factor is of course his music, a lackadaisical country blues sound with a New Orleans soul swing to it, which he’s been slowly perfecting across six albums. Last year’s Lonesome As A Shadow was a real gem and The Valley again delivers, this time with a more traditional country sound.
It feels like a ‘taking stock’ kind of record, indeed it was recorded just before he underwent his two heart operations. Right across the album he’s singing of living on ‘Borrowed Time’, his transient lifestyle (“Motel Time Again’), his Texas origins (‘The Valley’), lost love in ‘If Not The Fool’, lost opportunities and endless possibilities.
Crockett’s greatest asset, other than his beautiful drawl of a voice, is his ability to blend musical styles. A blues lament segueing into a classic country ballad and that soulful undercurrent that ties it all together. Most tracks clock in under three minutes, adding to the diary entry feel of The Valley. Crocket himself best summarises the album with its extended title – Charley Crockett Sings The Valley And Other Autobiographical Tunes. It’s a heart and mind laid bare, a bookmark ahead of a new chapter in the life of this prolific and highly talented songwriter and musician.