The fourth release from Austin-based singer/songwriter (and descendent of American folk hero Davy Crockett) Charley Crockett is an appealing mix of country, rockabilly and soul. Recorded in Memphis at Sam Phillips Recording Service, the studio Phillips established in 1960 after his Sun years, producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell) achieves an authentic retro '60s sound throughout. The strongest country tracks are "The Sky's Become Teardrops," which showcases Nathan Fleming on pedal steel guitar, and the mournful title track driven by Kullen Fox's tasteful piano.
Appropriately for a project recorded in a studio built by Phillips, there is plenty of rockabilly on display with "Lil Girl's Name" and "Goin' Back To Texas" featuring hot lead guitar licks from Alexis Sanchez, with the latter track also having a Tex Mex feel to it. The opening "I Wanna Cry" also has a Tex-Mex touch with Fox on accordion.
Some tracks such, as "If Not the Fool" and "Sad & Blue," have a soul feel reminiscent of Stax or Motown and feature Crockett's most impassioned vocals. Other highlights are the ballad "How Long Will I Last" and the closing "Change Yo' Mind," which has a New Orleans feel thanks to the trumpet of Charles Mills, Jr.
Crockett (rhythm guitar) wrote all 12 tracks and is nicely supported by Emsy Robinson (bass) and Mario Valdez (drums) along with Fleming, Sanchez, Mills and multi-instrumentalist Fox (organ) and producer Ross-Spang (guitar, percussion). With Crockett's soulful vocals and strong compositions this is a compelling listen.