The Next Waltz

November 25, 2020


Song also appears on The Next Waltz, Vol. 3 compilation

AUSTIN, Texas — Sometimes the best creativity comes by accident while one is busy making other plans. While he works on his new album, the follow-up to 2020’s acclaimedWelcome to Hard Times, Charley Crockett recorded a song for The Next Waltz, Vol. 3compilation, a project from BruceRobison’s label. The song was Billy Swan’s 1974 country/pop crossover hit, “I Can Help.” 

Crockett’s version will be available on all digital platforms on January 8, 2021 via The Next Waltz.

According to Crockett, “We showed up at the studio without any idea what we were gonna cut. Once we got in there I remembered this old Billy Swan number and I’d always wanted to record it. I think we got it in one or two takes. Like everything else at Bruce’s place, magic stuck to the tape.” 

Crockett’s life story can almost seem to read as fiction. An actual descendent of Davy Crockett, Crockett was born to a single mother and grew up in a trailer in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. He had run-ins with the law, and eventually busked on the streets of New Orleans and New York City for a decade. His travels also took him to Northern California and Morocco, before he returned to Texas and began the current phase of his life and career in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. Just two years ago he survived life-saving open-heart surgery. 

But as noted music writer Jewly Hight recently pointed out in Texas Monthly, what often gets overlooked “is how Crockett’s long and winding journey to a somewhat more conventional music career has shaped so much about his approach to American roots music. He has a street performer’s openness to using all the tools available to him to grab a crowd’s attention, an itinerant’s healthy skepticism toward (and sly critique of) the promise of prosperity, and a self-aware savvy that updates the vintage styles in his repertoire.”

“Charley Crockett is the perfect product of his times. Equal parts ’60s Nashville sound and itinerant street musician, part of what makes this music great. A voice you could believe, singing a simple song of incredible beauty,” says Robison, himself an estimable Texas singer-songwriter. “Being able to take a song that everyone knows like Billy Swan’s ‘I Can Help’ and making it his own is quite a feat. But his style is so instinctual and transparent in how so many genres come together in a believable way — it shows without a doubt how unbelievably cool both the song and Crockett are, in their own respective and timeless fashion.”

About Charley Crockett

“I’ve always had to work so damn hard to get any little bit of anything.” Charley Crockett may very well be one of the hardest working people in music, and all that hard work is resulting in a whole lot of success.  

Crockett had another banner year in 2020. He released Welcome to Hard Times (his eighth album in five years), increased his Spotify streams by 250% (up to 26.5 million in 2020), reached the top five on both the Americana radio albums and singles charts, and won raves from NPR Music, Rolling StoneThe GuardianWall Street JournalTexas MonthlyLongreads, CMT, FlauntGarden & Gunand many others (Diplo even told Crockett he "might be the best dressed guy on Instagram as of late" when they spoke on the Talkhousepodcast in August).

Prior to the pandemic, Crockett was selling out shows coast-to-coast in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, and made his debut at Stagecoach, Newport Folk and the Grand Ole Opry in 2019 (he was slated to make debuts at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage and Merlefest in 2020 before COVID hit). His success is especially impressive when you consider the years he spent on the streets in New Orleans and New York City and that he’s less than two years removed from open-heart surgery.

Crockett is truly one of the most singular artists in any genre. Ann Powers of NPR Music calls him “such a fascinating mix, very 21st century and very vintage.” Crockett crafts his self-proclaimed “Gulf & Western” sound by synthesizing country, blues, soul, Cajun, Western Swing, R&B and other pieces of American roots music. And when his voice comes out of your speakers, there is no confusing him for any other artist. As Barry Mazor of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Mr. Crockett’s unique vocal style is one third Ernest Tubb honkytonk with clipped-word diction, one third Bill Withers low-key, soulful crooning, and one third jazzy French Quarter second-line swagger.” 

Crockett has remained consistently steadfast and persistent in his belief in his music. Self-promoting and partnering with independent labels to release an impressive catalog of eight records in five years, Crockett feels his independence is essential. Although courted by major labels and big-name producers, he’s determined to continue forging his own path.

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November 25, 2020


Austin band’s treatment of Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” intersects with the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin’” for the unexpected mash-up of the year

AUSTIN, Texas — The Next Waltz, the innovative label/platform launched by singer-songwriter Bruce Robison, issued its latest vinyl compilation, The Next Waltz, Volume 3, on November 27, and released the song “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Shinyribs (contained in the compilation) as a digital single on that day as well. The music video for the Shinyribs song will be released on Friday, December 4.

The Next Waltz, Volume 3 is the third installment of singles recorded at the Bunker in Lockhart, Texas with no digital shenanigans, compiling the best all analog tracks of the past year into one neat package. 

Emblazoned with a motel motif designed by legendary Austin artist Kerry Awn (of Armadillo World Headquarters/Armadillo Art Squad fame) and a striking “sunset swirl” colored vinyl, the LP is an auditory guestbook of greatness featuring talent such as Jack Ingram, Flatland Cavalry, Charley Crockett, Robert Ellis, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis and more!

Volume 3 can be purchased on its own, with a special slip mat, or a bundle of both that also includes a “vintage motel key” USB that features digital files of Volume 1 through 3 along with bonus content.

According to Robison, “Austin is the ultimate Texas music melting pot. The Armadillo World Headquarters music is unclassifiable. Doug Sahm is the ultimate unclassifiable musician. People move to Austin because of that freedom. That originality — that ambition (or lack thereof) ... that weirdness — would not only be accepted but possibly celebrated in the fabulous history of Austin furry freaks.

“Kevin Russell has always been as hard to pin down stylistically as our other Austin heroes from his time with seminal Austin band the Gourds through the live music explosion Shinyribs, who have been tearing a conga line through the culture for years now. For Kevin, good music is good music. The groove is the thing and those vibrations can sometimes be enough to connect people across any walk of life. Is it weird to cover a Rhianna song? Yep, if you are doing it right. Try to sit still when the horns get cookin’ — I dare you.”

About Shinyribs:

Once you’ve seen Shinyribs’ Kevin Russell onstage, it’s impossible to forget him. Known for his outrageous outfits and antics, Russell is a regular Austin fashion icon, liable to turn up in anything from his lime-green sherbet leisure suit to a flashing LED cloak, which he donned for a soulful performance of “East Texas Rust” on the award-winning PBS show Austin City Limits. 

Born and raised in Beaumont, East Texas, Russell has been dubbed (mostly by himself) the Baryshnikov of the Big Thicket, the Pavarotti of the Pineywoods, the Shakespeare of Swamp Pop or the Shiniest Man in Showbidniz. Balding with a scraggly beard and an unapologetic gut, Russell boasts the indelible spirit and nudge-nudge, wink-wink playful quality of a man forever young, who points to the likes of Tony Joe White and the Coasters for his rib-tickling, mind-expanding, butt-shaking “is he for real” sense of humor. As a member of the Gourds, Russell took his musical inspiration from the fertile Ark-La-Tex turf and became a pioneer of Americana.

About The Next Waltz (in their own words)

So, what exactly is The Next Waltz? Hard to describe what we do here, but would have to say The Next Waltz is the world’s most innovative record label. Established in 2016 in Austin, Texas by Bruce Robison, we’ve tried to spend as many days as we can making great music while coming up with a bunch of crazy ideas along the way to pay for it.

We have released over 20 singles and worked alongside artists as varied as Turnpike Troubadours, Carrie Rodriguez, Carson McHone, Jerry Jeff Walker, Shinyribs, and Shakey Graves. From those singles, we have taken some of our favorite songs and turned them into two collections, The Next Waltz Volume 1and Volume 2. In 2020, we released our first full-length LP from Texas supergroup the Panhandlers — Josh Abbott, John Baumann, William Clark Green, and Cleto Cordero. Along with making great music we also manage a handful of artists who share our vision of artistic integrity and the value of ambitious and authentic music.

That said, our secret weapon is our recording facility — The Bunker — just south of Austin on the outskirts of Lockhart, Texas. We record in a way that has never been bested: Two-inch tape, 16-track recording, all-analog reverbs, and the greatest musicians on the planet in a room playing together. This is the way all our favorite recordings were done and it's as close to hearing in-person you can get.

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