Christopher Lockett’s new album
Road Songs For The Restless
is out now on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon and Spotify
“He writes songs like a much older man, like a songwriter weathered and wearied by the musical life, but with an ample amount of remaining soul.
“Heartbroke, Drunk and Restless” starts this party, and it’s a powerful opener. Powered by great organ playing against a driving groove, Lockett sings from his heart about the multitudes of experience that all exist within one iconic Golden State, California. “I got a love as big as California, I can’t deny it,” he sings. Sounds like his heart is about that big.
He writes lyrics with the earthy grace of Merle Haggard, who he tips his hat to in the first song. “Cold Night For A Suicide Girl” resounds like some miracle collaboration between Hank Williams and Marilyn Manson. As haunting as a 3 am truck stop with a full moon above, this is grim Americana, the dark side of the heartland.
“When This Old Car Was New” is a perfect song: beautiful with an earthy, gutsy beauty, and Lockett’s voice deepening into rich Tom Rush bass pedal tones, and an absolutely gorgeous and essential chorus, “We are still in the summer of our lives.”
He’s a country songwriter swimming against the prevalent Nashville current of pop country to return to the deep waters of songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle. “Mbira Mboogie” is a remarkable and unexpectedly spirited instrumental of that rings exotically, like a marimba in a pawnshop, displaying his multi-instrumental chops, as do a few other intermingled instrumental excursions, such as “A Road Back Home” and “Heart Like A Train,” a great title for him as his heart seems both locomotive in its range.
“Nobody’s ever made a dime singing any song of mine,” he sings, “but if you don’t mind I’ll keep trying.” We don’t mind at all; he’s writing the kinds of songs a whole lot of singers could sink their teeth into. A substantial and soulful songwriter of the highest degree, and a deeply emotive singer, Mr. Lockett is making deeply satisfying music, the kind of music that keeps you going even through the toughest of times.
Paul Zollo, American Songwriter magazine
“Christopher Lockett is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose sound lives somewhere between Americana, Folk and Country music. The transplanted Virginian has a really rich voice and this fine sophomore album, Road Songs For The Restless, is full of soulful songs with insightful lyrics from a journalistic minded writer.
Lockett is joined by a wonderful cast of guest musicians who make this a very full and down-home album, the kind that gets more welcome after repeated listens. Lockett’s tone is similar to Dave Alvin’s and he really warms it up on the enduring third track, “My Father’s Son.”
“I’ve got those eyes, I’ve got that chin. Got my grandfather’s hair that’s much too thin. I’ve got the same way of laughing at the shape I’m in.It’s in the bones, it’s in the blood. It’s down in the bottom and it’s thick like mud. It’s been that way ever since the flood. I am my father’s son.”
On the charming, personally reflective ninth track of fourteen total, “Song From The Joplin Motel,” Lockett ponders about the time he’s spent chasing “the dollar” and where time has gone as he pursues his muse:
“When it comes to feeling lonely money never changed a thing. It can’t buy tomorrow or what tomorrow brings,” sings Lockett. He expresses the feeling of wanting to be home and getting lost with his lover.
In all, Lockett can really spin a tale and Road Songs for the Restless plays like a welcoming summer night in a cozy cabin.”
Gerry Gomez – Turnstyled Junkpiled magazine
What the reviews said about his first album,
“On his album Roadhouses and Dance Halls, Lonnie Mack sang that he was “too Rock for Country and too Country for Rock and Roll” and a similar lyric may fit Christopher Lockett’s debut album. Only in his case the question is “is he too folk for Alt-Country or too Alt-Country for folk?” Either way it makes him fully AMERICANA.
His self-titled debut CD has been residing on my mp3 player for the last couple of months and every time I listen to it, I hear something new and like the album just a little more.
“There’s somebody who I think the gravel voiced Locket sounds like but I’ve yet to place the voice! Anyway the lyrics of his songs are great and there’s great lines in just about every song.”
Ed Karn – NoDepression.com
” His vocals could front an alt-country roots band, with that little bit of twang, and that country stride that the best of the country-blues singers acheive…..yet….. his songs, instrumentation and arrangements are acoustic, organic, even sentimental and folky. Throw in some oddball acoustic instruments and you have the ingredients for some pretty eclectic songs, even if they are simple country or folk styled ballads. There’s a nuance in the writing that sometimes defies his voice. His lyrics are simple, yet emotional and intelligent. Hold On To The Night is a lovely, if bittersweet ballad, again, laced with simple with honest emotion. The great, if a bit restrained, harmony vocal is from Trevi Fligg. In tandem, their vocals seem to sink into your pores.”
Call It Folk
“Deceptively simple songs that take a snapshot of a complex world and refine it down to a parable like those tunes in the Carter Family archive.”
“A serious rambler with an intelligent heart and a point of view in every song. “
“The better poets seem to step back a little and take things in from a big point of view. Chris has seen the world and shook its hand in Mali or Cote D’Ivoire West Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico. He learned his folk and country in Virginia and somehow manages to focus that down home flavor on a borderless brotherhood of humanity.”
“I could listen to a whole album of Christopher Lockett playing Mbira.”
“These are good songs that can walk by themselves. That’s all they need to be. That’s plenty.”
Billy Sheppard – BillysBunker.com
“These songs sound very American. Sublime jaw harp and harmonica playing.”
“African and Eastern influences, but the storytelling Americana songs come out on top here. Great and swinging..”
“Lockett succeeds here in getting our attention and raising our curiosity about what comes next.”