“If You’re Gonna Play After Me At A Festival You Better Be Real Good” – Charley Crockett Brings Extra Swagger To The Festival Circuit

Charley Crockett country music
Brooks Burris

This guy is too cool.

There are lots of reasons to be a Charley Crockett fan right now. There’s his rough and nomadic backstory that includes homelessness, street performing, brushes with the law, and a cardiac problem. He has a classic sound that seems to come from another era.

And his authentic and rebellious commitment to creating the music he wants, genre-be-damned, is important and inspiring. His star is rising after a win for Emerging Act of the Year at the 20th Annual Americana Honors and Awards last year, and he’s as impeccably dressed as anybody on the scene these days. 

Also, he talks a little trash. 

“If you’re gonna play after me at a festival you better be real good.”

I’m obsessed with the straight fire “Jukebox Charley” delivered during his interview with Anthony Mason on CBS Mornings this week.

If you’re Neal McCoy, or The Marcus King Band, or Tanya Tucker… hell, even headliner Thomas Rhett, who all follow Crockett this Friday at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, California, aren’t you a little nervous?

In a mellow, folksy kinda way, Crockett channeled other classic trash-talkers like Michael Jordan, the late Muhammad Ali, or the late Michael K. Williams’ iconic character, Omar, from The Wire (“You come at the King, you best not miss”).

If you come after Charley, you best not miss a beat, because he’s bringing his A-game. And I hope that kind of straight talk elevates everyone else’s game at Stagecoach too, because I think that’s what Charley’s getting at here.

All eyes will be fixed on him during his set this Friday afternoon, and I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.

And “slam bam,” I hope Neal McCoy is feeling alright and ready to bring it as the first act on the Palomino stage after someone as hot and fearlessly confident as Charley Crockett. 

For McCoy’s sake, I hope his 90’s country fans are rolling deep in the desert.

Because Charley Crockett is a self-described tough act to follow…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock