Last night, Charley Crockett checked off an item on every country musicians bucket list, headlining the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
He had performed as an opening act previously, but this was a big step up for the San Benito, Texas native, especially considering he had previously taken quite the stance against the industry with the title track of his 2021 album Music City USA, a song that’s easily one of my favorites by him.
Charley is by far one of the hardest workers in the genre, releasing music at an absolutely frantic pace, everything from full new original works like Man From Waco to James “Slim” Hand covers in 10 For Slim.
He’s also managed to keep up this pace despite a crazy touring schedule, which seems to grow longer by the day, embarking on a major fall run and recently having been announced as an opener on Tyler Childers’ Send In The Hounds Tour.
But even he would have had to stop, take a breath, and enjoy the moment of headlining at country music’s mother church.
A few fan videos from the night have been posted online, but one that really caught my eye was his performance of “Lily, My Dear” from the album that really began the past few years of crazy growth, Welcome To Hard Times.
In his classic, swagger-filled western waltz style, he delivered the heartbreaking ballad of a man at rock bottom who runs into the girl who sent him there, all while picking on the ol’ banjo.
There’s something about the direct simplicity of the chorus the rings true for me every time I hear it, despite being a happily engaged man (had to throw that in, just in case the lady reads this…)
“Lily my darling Lily my dear What awful reason, have you come down here? Is it for money? Is it for pride? Or just for the joy of watching me die?”
Such pretty songwriting and delivery, it’s no wonder Charley has absolutely taken off and shows no signs of slowing down.