Charley Crockett is back at it again.
When it comes to natural talent, Crockett is the perfect example. From vocals, to incredible songwriting, and his kicka** live shows, the guy knows how to get it done.
On top of that, he may put out more music than anybody in country music, as he’s released a total of 12 studio albums in less than eight years.
Last September, Crockett dropped one of my favorite albums of 2022, The Man from Waco, however he’s been releasing alternate, western versions of the songs from the album, and today he’s back with an alternate version of “Tom Turkey.”
“Listening back to Waco, I’d had an idea to do a part two in the style of Marty Robbins’ ‘Gunfighter Ballads’ or the Johnny Cash ‘Ballads Of The True West.’ I guess I’ve always been turning in these western folk ballads from the very start.
I’ve always been a folk songwriter, and if your tune really holds up you oughta be able to present it with any kind of band or arrangement and have the story show through.
The song itself is actually be based on an old Bob Dylan tune that was released for the 1973 film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
Starring James Coburn and country music legend Kris Kristofferson, the film’s score was composed by Bob Dylan (who also starred in the film) and included the iconic “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
Titled “Billy 4,” Charley borrows the 7th and 8th verses of the Bob Dylan song… and then the rest is written by Charley.
Similar to the way that Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show took Dylan’s “Rock Me Mama” chorus (which was actually a demo written for this very same movie) and finished up the verses for a new song called “Wagon Wheel,” Charley took a piece of this song for… Tom Turkey.
The opening verse tells it all:
“A business man from Taos wants you to go downSo they hired Mr. Garrett to force you to slow down Billy, don’t it make you feel so low down To be hunted by a man who was your friend…”
Give it a listen:
And the original: