For the second installment of Texas Monthly’s summer 2020 Sound Check series, Charley Crockett performed a pair of songs from his just-released album, Welcome to Hard Times. In a recent Texas Monthly piece, Jewly Hight described the album’s central theme as “wily survival in a socially, politically, and economically rigged system.” Crockett writes about hard times from experience: he grew up in a trailer, was homeless for a stretch, and cut his teeth as a street performer in New Orleans and New York City. He also lost his sister to addiction and just last year was rushed into emergency heart surgery after being was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a congenital heart condition.

Crockett says that while some of his team advised him to wait to release the new album—his eighth—until he could tour to support it, he wanted to release it before his focus and attention moved to writing and recording another album. Already the Guardian has described it as a “gothic masterpiece” and he’s been sitting in the top ten on the Americana singles and album charts for weeks. “For somebody with an unusual background like me,” Crockett says, “it almost makes sense I’d have so much success in a pandemic.”

Join us again on Tuesday, August 18, for Sir Woman’s Sound Check performance, and stay tuned for more from David Ramirez (August 20) and Los Coast (August 25). New episodes can be found via Facebook Live every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. from August 11 to August 25, 2020. Find previously published videos at