Last summer Charley Crockett and his band the Blues Drifters performed at Red Rocks opening for a power house line-up that included Yola and Orville Peck. You can read that show review by clicking here. After selling out the Ogden Theatre in Denver just a few weeks ago, Crockett returned to the Mile High City to perform at the Mission Ballroom to coincide with the National Western Stock Show. His compelling retro country style and rising popularity motivated us to be front row and center for the performance.
Crockett came out strong with the song Run Horse Run that literally tipped his hat to the cowboys in the audience. He followed with Music City USA about the trials and tribulations of performing 60’s Country style music in Nashville. Next the audience showed their love for Crockett by singing along (drunkenly)to his signature tune Hard Times.
The band played three songs from country Texas troubadour James Hand, one of Crockett’s mentors, who passed away in 2020. Last year Crockett released a tribute album entitled 11 for Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand. He also honored his recently departed friend Justin Townes Earle. Crockett played a haunting solo version of Earle’s Harlem River Blues.
The second half of the show had less tear jerkers and more toe tappers. They played Tanya Tucker’s classic Jamestown Ferry, the rockabilly Baby Let’s Rock, and George Jones’ The Race Is On. Guitar player Alexis Sanchez, multi-instrumentalist Kullen Fox (keyboards, accordion, and trumpet), and Nathan Fleming pedal-steel inspired Crockett to shuffle and twirl across the stage.
The band ended with a song written by Crockett named Paint It Blue – “Might be down in Texas after a while/Or Louisiana in style/But I’ll tell you what I’m really gonna do/I’m fixing to paint it blue.” I guess performing songs from your recently deceased friends would do that to you.
Charley Crockett might have brought the tears, but opener David Miner and the Reasons to Quit brought the joy. Minor stepped on stage with his classic country inspired mustache and denim vest. The band’s talent and enthusiasm were infectious (in a good way not in a pandemic virus kind of way). Miner displayed remarkable guitar chops in-between singing about dreams of Montana and ghosts by his home in Fort Collins, Colorado. The audience immediately noticed bass player Charlie J. Memphis passionately playing while he danced along to every song (Memphis was the happiest person at the ballroom). Muskrat Jones’ petal steel made the tunes instantly sound like classic honky tonk and Skyler Thimens’ drumming held everything together (it wasn’t easy with all the fun chaos in front of him).
If you want to see high spirited classic country, David Miner will be playing the Englewood Tavern in Englewood, Colorado on February 5th and the Hi-Dive in Denver, Colorado on February 17th.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one shuffling and twirling.