Reviewd by Bill Tokash
If you scraped the residual aural DNA accumulated on the walls and floors of this legendary venue over the past 30 years and reconstituted it Jurassic Park-style, the artist created would be Charley Crockett. On this warm holiday weekend evening at FitzGerald’s, the epicenter of Chicago’s American Music scene, Charley Crockett blended his soulful baritone voice across a 34-song whirlybird set to the delight of the beer-swiggin’ honky tonkin’ audience.
Charley’s bluesy, country soul-drenched catalogue of originals and deep cut covers played out like a teachable moment of Roots Music Appreciation: the original songs sounded timeless, while the covers sounded new and fresh. The rousing set drew heavily from his recent release, Lonesome as a Shadow, a record deeply influenced by his South Texas roots and his time busking on the streets of New Orleans.
Highlights of the main set included a cover of Del Reeves’ jukebox classic A Dime at a Time, a soulful version of Lonesome as a Shadow, the doo wop rockabilly perfection of Lil Girl’s Name, and the simple majesty of Tanya Tucker’s classic, Jamestown Ferry. The opening set closed out with the smooth jazzy blues of Ain’t Gotta Worry Child and echoes of Dusty Springfield on What the Preacher Say. Charley and his four-piece backing band finished the evening with a strong, four-song encore highlighted by Charley’s version of Roy Acuff’s Night Train to Memphis.
I missed Charley the first couple times he came through Chicago, but I wasn’t going to miss him this time. He’s been getting heavy rotation play from me for quite a while now, and I look forward to seeing this raucous bunch play again the next time.
Ain’t Got No Time to Lose
One Way Out (Elmore James cover)
I Ain’t Never (Webb Pierce cover)
A Dime at a Time (Del Reeves cover)
Lonesome as a Shadow
Lil Girl’s Name
Am I That Easy to Forget (??)
I Am Not Afraid
That’s How I Got to Memphis (Tom T. Hall cover)
I Wanna Cry
Honky Tonk Girl (Loretta Lynn cover)
Help Me Georgia
New Song – People Don’t Mind ?
New Song – Five More Miles ?
Instrumental (Booker T Cover?)
I Must Have Lost it
The Race is On (George Jones cover)
Learn to Love You
Jamestown Ferry (Tanya Tucker cover)
Ain’t Gotta Worry Child
Going Back to Texas
What the Preacher Say
In The Night
Night Train to Memphis (Roy Acuff cover)
Driving Nails in My Coffin (Ernest Tubb cover)