Charley Crockett will release his new album The Valley on September 20th. It was recorded just one week before he underwent lifesaving open-heart surgery this past January.

The Valley chronicles his hard upbringing on the south Texas border in San Benito, his single mom’s move to Dallas and the ten years he spent as a street performer. The album also distills the essence of Crockett’s fierce and restless independence. It’s a story of an artist searching for his place in the world, absorbing the sounds of the country as he attempts to make sense of the struggles of America and life on the road. It’s a story of exile and promise, as Crockett now runs those same highways playing for thousands of fans.

“I ended up having two lifesaving heart surgeries in January of this year,” says Crockett in a letter to fans about The Valley. “I recorded this album one week before those surgeries. I needed to have these songs in case I didn’t get through. I needed them just to tell people my story. To show folks what I’ve been through in my life. I feel like I’m living on borrowed time in a lot of ways. It was luck that we discovered my desperate condition and I can’t help feeling that I cheated death somehow. Maybe the creator threw me a bone for pouring my life into my music and putting it first at all costs. I don’t know. What I do know is that life is the valley and everybody has to walk through it, often times alone. I hope that you can hear the sounds of my life in these recordings. They’ve come to mean more to me than any I’ve offered up in my 35 years.”