Walter Crockett's Music

 

Walter Crockett's Dweadful Website


Aug, 8, 2013, Southborough Summer Concert Series
Aug. 15, 2013, Elm Park Concert Series, Worcester

Hello. Thanks for clicking in.

Walter Crockett

I'm Walter Crockett and I write songs and play some guitar.

Welcome to my low-tech, hand-carved, primitive-but-so-what website.

You might remember me from such bands as Valerie & Walter Crockett and the Oxymorons ("We'll drive you to a frenzy of catatonia!"), which made four CDs and played coffeehouses and concerts in New England for 13 years.

Well, Val passed away in October of 2009, after a long, brave struggle with cancer. She was my wife and musical partner for 32 years. A wonderful woman. Our daughter, Emily, passed away two years later, at the age of 26, after a 20-year struggle with brain tumors. They were a wonderful pair. My son, Jackson, is still going strong. He's a rock. You can see a picture of him with Val on her tribute page when I get it up, pretty soon. There will be a page for Emmy too. Here's a start.

It's taken five years to get my own thing back on the road — years spent playing guitar in bands with my good friends Chuck & Mud, Paul Della Valle and Denis Coughlin. But I'm back now, doing solo gigs, openers, and full-fledged bonafide gigs with my new band, Walter Crockett and the Wannabee Wabbits ("Nos votum futurus Wepus!").

Val, Walter, Bob, and Fran's back, which could be his best side

At our first gig, Oct. 4, 2012, we packed Hezekiah Stone Coffeehouse in Leicester, Mass., breaking their house record. The Wannabee Wabbits consist of two stalwarts from the Oxymorons: Bob Dick on bass, and "The Immortal" Francis X. McConville on mandolin, plus noted Oxylesson Dave Dick on banjo and electric guitar.

For our second full-fledged gig, March 16, 2013, we sold out and broke all records for John Henry's Hammer Coffeehouse in Worcester. Duke Levine joined us on electric guitar in place of the double-booked Dave Dick. Plus, we added our remaining Oxymoron alum, Mark Manuel, on piano and four-string banjo, and Matt Cassell, my esteemed son-in-law, on percussion, not to mention the Fiddlin' Wabbettes: Jojo McConville and Maddie Hayman.

Then, in our most recent gig, June 8, 2013 at Steeple Coffeehouse in Southboro, splitting the bill with Blackstone Valley Bluegrass, we had their biggest turnout of the year. So I guess we've got a good thing going and I'll stop worrying.

In the picture above are Bob and Fran in performance from a Whitinsville gig some years back, with Val looking on. I admit to having a grayer mustache today. Bob and Dave also play in Blackstone Valley Bluegrass, whom, as stipulated above, you will be able to see with us at Steeple Coffeehouse. We'll be featuring a new Wabbettes fiddle medley.

You can see the full list of gigs in our Performance Schedule. One of these days I'll put some navigation buttons across the top. But, to show my primitive dedication to social media, I have sprinkled around some colorful F buttons that must do something!

This one, for example.

WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING ABOUT OUR MUSIC BACK WHEN THEY WERE SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT IT

We don't have any recent clips, because (duh) I just started playing again. But before we went on our extended vacation, Scott Alarik had these kind words for us in the Boston Globe: "Walter and Valerie Crockett delighted the Concord crowd with their confident professionalism, smartly wrapped harmonies, and sweet, rolling melodicism."

We have been voted Best Musicians by the readers of Worcester Magazine, and were named to the Massachusetts Touring Roster of the state Cultural Council.

Our fourth album, Valerie & Walter Crockett and the Oxymorons' Long Live Album, is a really good album, on a scale from good to really good, and we think you ought to buy it.


Click here to read about our long, but not excessive live album.


You can now listen to the songs and order it online from CDBaby.com.

You don't have to leave our website, just jump down below to order from the handy blue box thingie.

Or, if you'd rather write a check, you can order it from moi for $15 CD plus $1.50 each for mailing:

Walter Crockett
32 Maple Tree Lane,
Worcester, MA 01602

Here's what folksinger Jamie Anderson had to say about it in a review at Indie-Music.com:

It’s hard to do a great live album. Even major labels who can afford to throw wads of money at a project can put out something with sloppy vocals, brittle sounding guitars and an audience roar that overshadows the music. Not so with this CD, and this band did it all on an independent’s budget.

With crystal-clear sound, tight instrumental work and sharp songs, they have everything the well-dressed folk-bluegrass fan needs. Valerie and Walter wrote most of the tunes, play guitar, and trade lead vocals; Bob Dick joins in on stand-up bass; Mark Manual plays banjo and keyboards; and Fran McConville plays such a tasteful and versatile mandolin he should be in the Mandolin Hall of Fame, if there is such a thing.

Like Claire Lynch with a softer edge, Valerie's lead vocal shines in many of the cuts, including "Small Town Heart," a lovely ballad with a Tex-Mex feel. Buttery smooth harmony vocals are the focus in "Falling Rain," while "This Time I Got It Right" and "Peace of Change" have a rollicking barroom piano that'll make you wanna shake a leg. The serious lyrics of "Orlando," about two very different views of the same city, rest in an island beat that includes a fabulous calypso mandolin. (This is why McConville flips my switch – he doesn’t settle with the standard bluegrass or celtic riffs of most mandolin players. I expect a punk album from him soon.)

"Ms Lucky" is a fun bluesy piece, and "Peaceful Waters" is their agnostic gospel tune. The disc is sprinkled with humor, including some spur-of-the-moment jokes and a brilliant piece of satire, "Go West Young Man." The Lord makes an appearance in the light-hearted “Highway 99.” They cover one of my favorite Jerry Jeff Walker tunes, “My Old Man,” in a thoughtful way that includes a gentle mandolin. “This Whole Town” starts with death-defying mandolin and acoustic guitar work, then plunges into pleasing, straight-ahead bluegrass.

The liner notes are a hoot, although I wish they’d included the lyrics. For those of us who actually get up to change the TV channel, you can get the lyrics at vwcrockett.com.

In some groups, especially those who play bluegrass, you'll find hot-dogging musicians whose sole purpose seems to be to show you how individually great they are. Not this band. Sure, they can play all those awesome licks, but they perform cohesively and always in a way that complements the song.

This is how live albums should sound – bright, full and clean with just enough live audience sound so you feel like they're playing in your favorite club. So highly recommended you'll think I'm related to these folks, but I don't know 'em. Buy this album.

Yes, it's true the lyrics aren't on the liner notes, but lyrics for all the Long Live songs are available here.

While we're selling this one, we might as well mention the previous album too, because it's also a humdinger and has a heartwarming story behind it. That would be our third album, Emily's Angel, which you can read much more about by clicking on the album cover:


Click here to read about the story, the songs, and the people behind Emily's Angel.


You can listen to the Emily's Angel songs and order it online from CDBaby.com.

Or just plain order it online right here.

Or, if you're the postal type, you can even order it from us for $15 CD, $10 cassette, plus $1.50 each for mailing:

Walter Crockett
32 Maple Tree Lane,
Worcester, MA 01602

You're so far down the page by now that we should remind you: You can see our live performance schedule, which, we admit, sometimes gets, shall we say, a tad out of date. But right now it's fully up-to-date. At least it was when we wrote this. (Pardon the royal "we.")

Here's what Skip Ogden said about our second album, Moonbone, in iBluegrass Magazine:

The album represents a variety of acoustic music. Bluegrass, Folk, Country - pure Americana in a modern, clean and crisp sound.

Valerie's voice is soft and soothing, yet at the same time powerful and sure. From "One Way Ticket" to the grassy "But Still" to the upbeat blues of "Sugar Baby Now," Valerie demonstrates a marvelous talent in not only singing but in portrayal of meaning and emotion.

Let's not forget Walter Crockett. His style in "Lonely Town," a bluegrass/blues combo, makes one feel he has been there. And no one else could do "Down On The Farm" justice.

Bluegrass Unlimited had this to say about us:

Valerie and Walter Crockett walk the fine line between folk and bluegrass and find a balance that blends many of the best elements of both. Valerie has a truly lovely voice, sort of breathy and pretty at the same time. Talented and prolific songwriters, the Crocketts wrote all 13 songs on this CD.

Tunes like "Lonely Town" best capture the sound of bluegrass here, but the Crocketts really shine on up-tempo pop-folk tunes like "Tell Me Baby Did I Do Something Wrong," "Sugar Baby Now," and "Island Frame of Mind." Catchy riffs, clever lyrics, and arresting arrangements make these tunes excellent candidates for "crossover" folk music reaching out to a larger audience.

If your tastes include Robin and Linda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Nanci Griffith, there's a lot to like here.


Now you just might want to order one or more of our albums without a second thought, so here's all you need:

album price #
VALERIE & WALTER CROCKETT: Long Live Album $14.95
VALERIE & WALTER CROCKETT: Emily's Angel $14.95
VALERIE & WALTER CROCKETT: Moonbone $14.95
VALERIE & WALTER CROCKETT: Unbutton Your Heart $14.95
Choose how many, and click
Orders sent by CD Baby - the fastest, safest, and easiest place to buy CDs online. You can also call 1-800-448-6369 to order by phone.
But if you want to browse first, you can click here to get to the search results page for all four of our albums at CDBaby.com. And if you really want to be direct you can get to each album by clicking the following links for Long Live Album, Moonbone, Unbutton Your Heart, and Emily's Angel. You can buy our albums there in immense quantity, and you can listen to several cuts from each.

  • Or click one of these four links to read, and print if you like, the lyrics to the songs on our Long Live Album, Emily's Angel, Moonbone or Unbutton Your Heart.

  • If you speak French, and, like many of us, you're concerned about possible eye damage from too closely observing a solar eclipse in Madagascar, cliquez ici to visit a fine informational site maintained by the Syndicat National des Ophtalmologistes de France.

  • Then again again, you can join the noble fight for money even blind people can see.

    This website is growing like a snail on steroids. We're adding pages every week - well, paragraphs anyway, and every month, if not every week. Let us know what you'd like to see.

    And if you feel like sending us an email, send it to BrufusD@aol.com, not BrufusC, no matter what our CDs tell you.

    Now come back soon!