If Turnpike Troubadours are playing in your town, you’ll know it. A block or two from the venue, you’ll see the crowds lining up. Get closer and you’ll start to hear the music — rockin’ hard, lashed by burnin’ fiddle and guitar, maybe a little rough on the edges but with a deep-rooted soul that’s impossible to resist. And if you make it through the door, you’ll witness one of the best shows you’ll ever see.
And this is the paradox of the Turnpike Troubadours: Do they sound their best when they’re delivering another electrifying live show or when they’ve crafted an artful album, enriched by a narrative tradition that traces back to their fellow Oklahoman Woody Guthrie, in which every nuance tells a story unto itself?
Honestly, the band doesn’t worry much about that.
“The show is about people having fun,” Felker says. “The more fun they have, the more fun we have and the better off everybody is. The record is about understanding the poetry in a real way. I figure it’s like people sitting around in their house, maybe drinking a beer. That’s more the place for poetry.” “Our sound comes from playing country music, punk rock and anything else we liked in honky-tonks and beer joints,” Edwards adds. “You’ve got to give the crowd something to dance to and have a good time. But songwriters are the most important thing. So I think everything we’ve done says that you can have it both ways.”
The proof is on The Turnpike Troubadours and at whatever place they’re playing down the road near you. Think of them as a two-headed silver dollar; on both sides, you’ve got a winner.
Growing up with a single mother in San Benito, Texas, the hometown of Tejano star Freddy
Fender was not easy for blues singer Charley Crockett. Hitchhiking across the country exposed
Crockett to the street life at a young age, following in the footsteps of his relative, American folk
hero Davy Crockett, who also lived a wild life on the American frontier. After train hopping
across the country, singing on the streets for change in New Orleans’ French Quarter, busking
in New York City and performing across Texas and Northern California, Crockett set off to travel
the world and lived on the streets of Paris for nearly a year before searching for home in Spain,
Morocco, and Northern Africa.
The blues artist returned home to Texas and released his debut solo album titled A Stolen Jewel
in 2015, receiving critical acclaim in Dallas and ultimately landing him a Dallas Observer Music
Award that year for “Best Blues Act”. A record “rich with Southern flavor, a musical gumbo of
Delta blues, honky-tonk, gospel and Cajun jazz,” Jewel proved that Crockett, born into poverty
in the Rio Grande, had come home to make his musical mark on the South. Crockett, who is
self-described as elusive, rebellious and self-taught, has been compared to legends like Bill
Withers, Merle Haggard, and Gary Clark Jr.
He released his sophomore record In The Night, an admirable nod to his Texas country and
Louisiana blues roots, on June 4 and ended 2016 having played over 125 shows. “In the Night”
and Crockett’s song “I Am Not Afraid” received international recognition from top tastemakers
after being picked by NPR Music as one of the “Top 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing”
and selected by David Dye to be featured on World Cafe in late July. The Fort Worth Star-
Telegram called it “an impressive calling card, full of Crockett’s plaintive soulfulness and
swinging tempos” and Central Track noted the artist as having “the well-rounded songwriting
capabilities of Van Morrison and a vocal approach that finds common ground between Bill
Withers and early Dr. John.” Crockett graced the cover of Buddy Magazine in May 2016, who
called him “the archetype of the new American vagabond.”
He has shared the stage with artists like Justin Townes Earle, Citizen Cope, Alejandro
Escovedo, Joe Ely, Sean Hayes, Tab Benoit, Ace Enders, and Leon Bridges.
For more information www.CharleyCrockett.com