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Charley Crockett Brings the Honky-Tonk to Albany

By Published On: June 4th, 2024

Charley Crockett played a sold-out show at Empire Live, which has a capacity of about 1,000 people, in Downtown Albany on Monday, June 3. 

Charley’s deep vocals and honky-tonk musical style is reminiscent of 1970s and 1980s country music, which has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. 

He and his band played for almost two hours and ran up a setlist that consisted of just under 30 songs total. Kentucky-raised musician Kelsey Waldon served as his opener and played for 45 minutes. Kelsey has enough music to headline her own tour easily and I don’t doubt that she’ll be doing so very soon. 

Honky-tonkin’ in Albany 

Appropriately to the name of the tour, Charley opened up with “$10 Cowboy,” and immediately lit the place up with his energy. Charley is truly a one-of-a-kind performer whose style is reminiscent of that of the country greats like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  

Unusually, he spent the first half of the show working through nearly the entirety of his latest album, $10 Cowboy. 

He didn’t follow the track list from the album exactly, but instead changed up the order of the songs. He started with “Ain’t Done Losing Yet,” then performed “Hard Luck & Circumstances,” “Spade,” “Diamond in the Rough,” “Lead the Way,” “City of Roses,” “Gettin’ Tired Again,” “America,” “Midnight Cowboy,” and “Good at Losing.” 

After working through most of the $10 Cowboy album, he performed “I’m Just a Clown,” from his 2022 album The Man from Waco. He followed it up with a cover of Red Lane’s “Blackjack County Chain,” which the band left the stage for to allow him to perform it solo and acoustically. 

Then, he put his guitar down and performed a cover of Link Wray’s “Juke Box Mama,” during which he got funky with it and danced across the stage. I’ve never really seen a crowd of people get so excited to see a performer moving around on stage as much as I did last night. 

“Welcome to Hard Times” was up next, from his 2020 album of the same name, and “Music City USA,” from the 2021 album of the same name. Following this, he performed the crowd-pleaser “The Man From Waco,” a cover of James Hand’s “Don’t Tell Me That,” and a cover of Vincent Neil Emerson’s “7 Come 11.”

He ended the show – before the encore, of course – with “Silver Dagger” from his 2016 album I Am Not Afraid and a cover of Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman.”

He left the stage for a few moments, as all artists do to give the illusion that the show is over, before reemerging to perform three final songs and go out with a bang. 

He finished the show with “Killers of the Flower Moon,” from the 2023 film of the same name, a cover of Tanya Tucker’s “The Jamestown Ferry,” and a personal favorite from the $10 Cowboy album, “Solitary Road.” 

Empire Live 

It was my first time going to Empire Live, and I have to say, it might be one of my new favorite spots. The venue is small and intimate, and even though I’m only clocking in around five feet tall, I was still able to see pretty well where we were standing. The capacity is only 1,000 people, which means that it doesn’t get overcrowded and there aren’t people suffocating you from all directions. 

I’m definitely looking forward to checking Empire Live’s schedule in the future and seeing more shows there. 

Listen to the setlist from Charley Crockett’s show at this link.