"I'm as influenced by Bill Withers and Lightnin' Hopkins as I am by Hank Williams. I was never actively trying to put all these genres together. But street playing comes together in a mélange, a gumbo." - Charley Crockett
It takes a long time to sound like yourself, as Miles Davis once said. In musician Charley Crockett's world, it also takes survival skills and street smarts. Born into poverty, Crockett grew up a drifter and self-taught street performer, bouncing between his hometown in southern Texas and his uncle's place in New Orleans - absorbing musical influences, hitchhiking, train-hopping, and honing his skills. "The good thing about playing the street is, you have to work to get people's attention," he says. "You learn what works and what doesn't."
What works for Crockett is his effortless and original blending of styles. Busking for years across the US and eventually Europe, his heart pulled him home to the honky-tonk swing, southern soul, creole jazz and blues he learned early on. And his growing crowds responded in kind, culminating in a record contract based on a brief performance in a New York City Subway car.
"Lonesome As A Shadow" is Crockett's third album, but his first with all-original material, and his songwriting talent shines through: He sings how he talks and he lives what he sings. From the emotive and mournful opener, "I Wanna Cry," to the surprise tempo jump in "The Sky'd Become Teardrops," to the lonely trumpet finish of "Change Yo' Mind," this is an album for the drifter in all of us, perfect for winter road trips and long nights by the fire. But it's Crockett's voice that makes and leaves the greatest impression. Authentic, relaxed, and honey-rich. He sounds entirely like himself.