Charley Crockett Drops Surprise James “Slim” Hand Tribute Album
Last year when he stopped by Radio Texas, LIVE! (the last in-person interview we did before COVID) Charley Crockett told me that he plans to release a new album every 12-18 months. Time between his last two album clocks in right at seven months.
The Texas native released his last album Welcome to Hard Times in July 2020, right smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. While most were cautiously holding on to albums and pushing release dates, Crockett told us that with a name like this album had what better time to release it.
Well, here we are seven months later with a surprise album titled, Lil’ G.L. Presents: 10 For Slim- Charley Crockett Sings James Hand, the project is his ninth full-length album since 2015. In fact he's released an EP or album every year since '15 and two in 2018 and 2020.
This album is special though, it's personal. It serves as a tribute to Crockett’s good buddy and Texas legend, James “Slim” Hand, who passed away in June of 2020.
When I first met James, I couldn’t even get a gig in Austin. Thanks to Jay Moeller and Billy Horton that changed over the years. James and I played together at The Kessler Theater on my first show back after I had heart surgery in 2019. One of my fondest memories will always be the show we played together at Gruene Hall later that summer. He was so good it hurt.
I had told Slim I was gonna cut his songs. He told me he wished I’d hurry up and do it! Me and the boys in The Blue Drifters asked him to come on the road last summer with us and do all the shows and festivals as a package deal. He thought about it for a long while and decided that at 68 years old he had it in him to make another “Midnight Run,” if you know what I mean. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what that summer might’ve been like. All the things I was gonna ask him about his life. But the storm that was 2020 came and ol’ Slim slipped off into the hot Texas night and on up to the big house. I cried like a child when I got the news he was gone. I remember me and Taylor Grace passing by his exit near the town of West, TX one night a couple months earlier, Tokio Road. Just a few miles up the highway from where Willie Nelson was born and raised in Abbott, TX. - Charley Crockett
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