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Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy

Crockett may be a $10 Cowboy, but the dynamite he’s sitting on could blow open a diamond mine.

Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy Album Cover
April 24, 2024 5:31 pm GMT
Last Edited April 25, 2024 2:54 pm GMT

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Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy

Label: Son of Davy / Thirty Tigers

Producers: Charley Crockett and Billy Horton

Release Date: April 26, 2024


1. $10 Cowboy

2. America

3. Hard Luck & Circumstances

4. Good At Losing

5. Gettin' Tired Again

6. Spade

7. Diamond In The Rough

8. Ain't Done Losing Yet

9. Solitary Road

10. City of Roses

11. Lead The Way

12. Midnight Cowboy

Since the release of The Man From Waco in 2022, a lore has developed around Charley Crockett.

Notoriously prolific in his output, $10 Cowboy is his 13th album in nine years. The tale of his journey from determined busker to critically acclaimed headliner and industry maverick has splashed technicolour across the dreams of those even at the very back of the queue for the “I’m going to be a country music star” bus to Music City, USA. In fact, he works so fast and hard, posters declaring “$10 Cowboy: Out Now!” appeared on billboards before the album had even been released, giving the impression he was already working on the next one.

Lore can be weightless and wispy without a strong vehicle at its centre. That’s not a problem for Crockett, whose voice remains the smooth and elegant ride that sits at the centre of the Charley Crockett experience. Take a song like ‘Hard Times’, his voice whistle-clear and his pronunciation so clipped and identifiable that you can almost see the shape of his mouth as it moves, making two syllables out of “here” and four out of “disappear”. It creates a deeply intimate atmosphere between artist and listener, reminding you why he made such an excellent busker and how he became too successful to continue as one.

He weaves stories that are both simple and complex, their characters often faceless. This is to no detriment, for here “faceless” also means universal. In the story of life, its hustlers, cheaters and grifters never really change, even if its documenters do. Songs appear like hints, map symbols, holding the listener captive to their sound as they drive them down roads that don’t necessarily have a destination yet provide a thrilling ride via big sweeps of soul, gospel backing vocals and irresistible twangs of laid back guitar, all apparent from the very opening bars of the title track.

Take ‘America’. Questioning the fabric of American life and its commitment to the grind has begun to rear its head more frequently in country music, quiet only by virtue of the small but growing number of those doing it, rather than an indication of how loudly those individuals are shouting. Crockett understands that providing diagnosis or cure is the real road to hell, so instead he takes an everyman approach, asking convivially  “America how are ya? I hope you’re doing fine / America I love ya and I fear you sometimes”.  It’s a similar approach on the Hendrix-esque ‘Solitary Road’, with talk of jezebels on streets corners and shadowy characters down every road. It’s pointed but enduring.

He’s self-aware enough to address his own lore directly on the graceful and string-led ‘Good At Losing’. “They laughed at me in New York City / called me a fool in LA / I doubt that Nashville saw me coming / besides the bar folks working late” he twangs. It’s a neat couplet to the mysteriously soulful number, where casino gamblers become a cautionary tale. He’s wise to recognise that $10 is easily lost to vices, and a $10 Cowboy is too. “I ain’t done losing yet / I pay good money to forget this life of trouble and regret”, he croons.

Like every great American troubadour, Crockett’s music has the holy combination of being ripe for both listening and singing along to. It’s a scene-setting backing track to a cross country road trip that becomes part of the very air in your truck as you absent-mindedly sing along to its refrains, or a document to be disseminated for those who find stories of their own life in its words.

Crockett may be a $10 Cowboy, but the dynamite he’s sitting on could blow open a diamond mine.


Charley Crockett's 2024 album, $10 Cowboy, is released April 26 via Son of Davy / Thirty Tigers.

For more on Charley Crockett, see below:

Written by Holly Smith
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