Charley Crockett will release his new album Lil’ G.L. Presents: Jukebox Charley on April 22nd via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. The fourth edition of his Lil’ G.L. tribute series, Jukebox Charley is another great example of how Crockett is enlivening country music by looking back for inspiration and crafting his own singular sound, whether through his own songs or the songs of others.
On this new album, produced by Billy Horton, Crockett mines country music’s past and then processes it through his “Gulf & Western” sound – weaving old school blues, R&B, soul, cajun, western swing and other classic touchstones with country. And while the album features songs written by country legends like Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall and George Jones, Crockett also shines a light on songs from regional acts like Louisiana’s Larry Brasso or a deep cut from Red Sovine. And even when he’s interpreting songs from country legends, Crockett steers toward lesser-known or underappreciated cuts, eschewing staples of the genre.
“I’ve done a few Lil’ G.L. records now,” says Crockett. “This Jukebox Charley LP makes four. I wanted to really stretch out on this one and take some chances. Do something different. We took some risks and laid down a lot of lesser known, more adventurous classics. Hope folks pick up what I’m puttin’ down.”
The album’s lead single, out now, is Crockett’s take on “I Feel For You,” a standout from Jerry Reed’s 1966 debut album The Unbelievable Guitar & Voice of Jerry Reed. The accompanying video finds Crockett at his most charismatic, singing directly into the camera as he spins the song’s tale of a too late warning from one jilted lover to another. “Mark Neill turned me on to this one,” explains Crockett. “It was a guiding light for both Welcome to Hard Times and Music City USA. It really spoke to me, hit me as a timeless song. Once we started the sessions for Jukebox Charley, it became clear this would be a single.”
After a breakout 2021, Crockett is already looking to have an even bigger 2022. In the U.S., he will kick off his coast-to-coast “Jukebox Charley” headlining spring tour later this month, culminating in his return to the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA at the end of April. Crockett will perform at Luck Reunion at Willie Nelson’s ranch outside Austin, TX during SXSW, and Crockett will open a pair of amphitheater shows for Nelson in May as well.
Crockett released two albums in 2021 – Lil’ G.L. Presents: 10 For Slim – Charley Crockett Sings James Hand and Music City USA – and had across the board success. Crockett won “Emerging Act of the Year” at the 2021 Americana Honors & Awards and made his Austin City Limits TV debut a month later. He received billboards in Times Square from Spotify and CMT, performed at several top tier festivals including Austin City Limits and Merlefest, and was featured in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Music City USA stayed at #1 on the Americana radio charts for six straight weeks and the album debuted on 14 different Billboard charts. Also, last week, Crockett’s 2020 album Welcome to Hard Times passed the 20 million stream mark on Spotify (globally, Crockett’s music has been streamed over 155 million times, with 78 million streams coming in the past year).