Billy Crockett

Video Feature & Web-Exclusive Interview


Song:  “That’s Something” (from In Session)

Billy Crockett will be the featured artist this Thursday (August 13) at Blue Rock aLIVE!—a unique virtual summer concert series—featuring iconic Austin-based artists every Thursday this summer. Blue Rock’s innovation, quality and creativity is evidenced in concerts produced in broadcast quality audio-video from their renowned Texas room—streamed straight to you. The Season Pass was $105, but now you can get the rest of the season for only $60 ( What makes a Season Pass unique is that you send in your headshot and they place it on a seat, so you will literally be sitting in the room.

Crockett is a performing songwriter, producer and multi-instrumental session man with a dozen albums and decades of memorable songs. He is a guitar clinician for Yamaha who has been featured on BMI’s songwriter panel at SXSW, the TV series Troubadour Texas and the Academy of Gospel Music Arts.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to see Billy Crockett perform live, prepare to be blown away with his masterful guitar skills, uncanny musicianship, ability to arrange songs so it sounds full with just voice and guitar, and with his sharp incisive songwriting.

We talked with Billy Crockett about his passion for songwriting, his commitment and need to connect with the music community at large and what continues to inspire his creative process.

Billy Crockett


with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David

Do you remember how the idea of “That’s Something” came to you?
There’s a lot of calamity in this song. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were on my mind. The Great Recession of 2008 hit so hard. Central Texas was deep in drought and, at one point, we were monitoring 75 wildfires. I was asking—What do we have that we can keep? What can the storm not blow away? And the answer was something like this song.

Tell us how these “Thursday Nights in Summer—Immersive Virtual Concerts” exceeded your expectations.
Engagement through a screen is not ideal, but here’s the thing—we bring ourselves to the encounter as much as we allow. Every Thursday I ask the artists and the audiences to suspend their disbelief and to imagine that they are here together in a real event that will never happen again. And they do. The music community has missed each other desperately and, even though only our pictures are in the same room together, the songs are delivered like medicine and the viewers know, in some crazy way, this is a communal experience, right now, like no other. You can feel it. Another lovely aspect is how the series has given us—the studio and team—a role to play in this ghostly stretch of coronavirus time. It helps to feel we are working to keep songs, artists and listeners alive.

Billy Crockett

How has producing other musicians’ albums informed your own songwriting and albums?
Everyone I work with teaches me something. Might be about breathing, preparing or the risk it takes to break your own rules. Seems no end to learning about humans and songs. But I have come to believe the central quest in every session is to locate the truth. It’s rare. It’s about showing up, not hiding in the lovely arsenal of words, sounds and toys at our fingertips. It’s about inhabiting a phrase of a lyric; being one thing—guitar/body/mind—not three. This is what I hope for in every phase of creation.

How did the idea for one of our favorites, 1998’s “Lines” (from Watermarks), come to you?
I was reading Annie Dillard’s vital book The Writing Life. In the last chapter she describes the final flight of her friend, stunt pilot Dave Rahm. Dillard’s lines are in miraculous sync with her subject’s. “Rahm’s line unrolled in time. Like music, it split the bulging rim of the future along its seam. The plane looped the loop, seeming to arch its back like a gymnast; it stalled, dropped, and spun out of it climbing; it spiraled and knifed west on one side’s wings and back east on another; it turned cartwheels, which must be physically impossible; it played with its own line like a cat with yarn.” This made me feel (and still does) powerfully animated. I thought about the trail my life has made through the world, the pattern of it. And of people I know, and those I don’t. The intersections. Suddenly, I wanted to write the song about unseen lines being lifelines.

Billy Crockett

What is the best advice you’d like to give upcoming musicians?
Your instrument is your heart. Read, listen and work to increase your capacity to thrill, to weep, to know the still center of a story or the surprise waiting around the corner in the third verse. Oh, and try to give yourself a break now and again.

Where can new fans get more info and stay updated?
Newsletter, Shows, Music:


Check out our May 2020 feature on Billy Crockett:

Billy Crockett

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