November 4, 2022 | By Joe Nick Patoski
April 6, 2019 | By Matt Joyce
On a recent sunny afternoon in Dripping Springs, Charley Crockett finished a song and looked out from the stage over the crowd scattered across a bright-green lawn. “I’ll tell you what,” said the Texas troubadour, a singular practitioner of soul-steeped honky-tonk and blues. “The grass looks a little greener for me today; the air smells a sweeter.”
That mid-March performance at Revival Experience, a one-day event held during Austin’s SXSW music festival, was sweet indeed for Crockett: It marked his return to the stage after an 11-week break during which he had two heart surgeries and a surgery to repair a hernia. The long-nagging hernia had prompted Crockett to schedule a medical appointment, and that’s when doctors discovered a congenital heart defect—one that had afflicted him since birth—that required open heart surgery and a January “vacation at the Seton Medical Center Hotel” in Austin, as he puts it.