Charley Crockett “‘Lil’ G.L. Presents: Jukebox Charley”

Son Of Davy LLC, 2022

Country music archaeology unearths some gems presented respectfully updated.

G.L. Crockett was an R&B singer who worked in Chicago with local stars like Freddie King & Magic Sam, He recorded mostly as G. Davy Crockett, but passed in 1967 at just 38. Charley Crockett, not actually a relation of G.L, has released a series of Li’ G.L covers albums of which this is the fourth.

Crockett (C) takes songs that he feels need to be given an airing for a new audience and treats then respectfully while doing is best to make then his own. Opening song ‘Make Way For A Better Man’ written by Cy Coben and best known in a version from Willie Nelson, he adds a Rockabilly guitar solo to the Country Honky-Tonk of the original pulling it into the orbit of G.L. Crockett’s R&B sound.

The blend of pedal steel and Chicago R&B on Johnny Paycheck’s ‘Jukebox Charley’ is typical of the material on offer here. Tom T. Hall’s ‘I Hope It Rains At My Funeral’ is presented as a bluesy country shuffle. “I learned what it means, to be somebody’s baby. Then let you lie in your bed by yourself and cry.” ‘Heartbreak Affair’ with its tremolo drenched chorus is almost in a Merseybeat style.

As well as unearthing songs like Willie Nelson’s ‘Home Motel’ and adding his own spin to them, Crockett presents songs that step back to the early sixties, like George Jones’ ‘Out Of Control’. Both that song and ‘Six Foot Under’ which follows it sound much as they might have done sixty years ago. ‘Same Old Situation’ is given a Jazz influenced arrangement, the guitar could have been Barney Kessel and the piano George Shearing. The pedal steel keeps it rooted in Country though. Another George Jones song, ‘Between My House And Town’ closes the album with a traditional Country feel.

Charley Crockett has produced an album that reflects his influences and offers traditional country material to a modern audience who may be unaware of the charm of these songs and olds ways of playing them. If you want to know where to go to start understanding names like George Jones, Red Sovine and Kay Adams you can do far worse than start here.


About Tim Martin 247 Articles
Sat in my shed listening to music, and writing about some of it. Occasionally allowed out to attend gigs.
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