Photos and Blurb by Jose Serrato
The Texas skies cleared up just in time for fans to start lining up outside the doors of the historic Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth on Saturday night for the highly anticipated concert by Charley Crockett. Doors opened promptly at 7pm and the crowd made their way to the front of the stage and reserved tables.
The night opened with a solo performance from Indiana-born Fort Worth resident Simon Flory. Flory warmed up the crowd with his 30 minute set pickers that had him switching between an acoustic guitar and banjo. Flory’s set list contained songs like “Hard Luck Kid” and “Appalachian Sky” from his current album Radioville.
Taking the drive down I-30 from Big D were rhythm and blues band The 40 Acre Mule. If you have not experienced a show from these boys, do not miss their next show at Twilight Lounge on May 25th. For 45 solid minutes, J Isaiah Evans and crew had the crowd moving and excited with songs heavily influenced by the greats such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Ray Charles. (Fun fact: Evans’ grandfather was part of the Chitlin Circuit and worked with the one and only Mr. Berry, who Evans met as a young boy.) I will definitely be keeping up with The 40 Acre Mule and I suggest you do too.
As the final touches were being made on stage for Charley Crockett’s set, I see the set list is being placed on stage and notice it’s two pages long. Charley was coming out swinging with what looked like a 20+ song set. The crowd erupted and cell phones hit the air as Crockett made his way onto the stage. Ninety minutes of a mix consisting of classics and originals sounded amazing in the renovated Ridglea Theater. The crowd reacted to every song, especially to a personal favorite of mine, “I Am Not Afraid.” A visit to Fort Worth can not go on without the possibility of some special guests and this show was no different. Crockett welcomed onto the stage Fort Worth’s own Leon Bridges. The crowd went absolutely crazy as Bridges took the mic to sing his song “Bad Bad News” and then followed up with a duet on “Late In The Evening.” Crockett walked off the stage to a roar of cheers from the crowd which then turned into a hard stomp demanding an encore. The boots hit the floor so hard, or chucks in my case, that you could feel the vibrations. Crockett returned to the stage to perform a couple solo acoustic tracks only to be followed up with another special guest. Vincent Neil Emerson joined in on the fun as the two performed Emerson’s song “7 Come 11.” The encore lasted for 6 songs and the show was over just before midnight. The crowd made its way out the theater, but many stopped at the merch table to buy up shirts and albums and even for the chance of meeting the man of the night.