“We’re having a good time up here, let’s just keep honky tonking!” enthuses Charley Crockett, playing Brighton’s Prince Albert to promote his new album The Valley.
Opening was Crockett’s good friend Jaime Wyatt with her band. Playing an extended set and accompanied by bass, guitar and drums, she was fantastic. Worthy of a headline, the Los Angeles-based Wyatt made a big impression with her own material mixed with covers including Merle Haggard’s Misery and Gin and a compelling down and dirty slow blues treatment of Elvis’ Don’t Be Cruel.
Crockett is a country boy from Texas whose music is influenced by Zydeco, Cajun, blues and soul. His expert delivery is from years of plying his trade on the streets of New Orleans.
With less patter and more tracks than his show last year at London’s Borderline, Crockett raced through an incredible thirty, yes – thirty, tracks in a thrilling 90-minute set. His energetic yet relaxed delivery had the audience swaying, foot-tapping and enthusing.
This was a show of three parts. Part one had Crockett on acoustic guitar, with the more country numbers. In part two Crockett played banjo for more bluegrass influenced material, with him taking a couple of solo numbers. Part three saw him with electric guitar and dancing shoes rattling through some of his more uptempo numbers.
Backed by his band of four, The Blue Drifters, with drums, lead guitar, acoustic and electric bass, and the multi-instrumentalist keyboard, accordion, trumpet (often trumpet with keyboard) and mandolin.
Highlights included the plaintive I Wanna Cry, the blistering boogie of Texas, Baby 123, Oh So Shaky and How Long Will I Last.
Non-stop action from Crockett, back from heart surgery at the turn of the year and back to form. Catch him live if you can, he’s a blast.
Words and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks