185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801

The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present

Vincent Neil Emerson

All Ages
Wednesday, July 24
Doors: 7pm // Show: 8pm
$22
– ALL AGES
– STANDING ROOM ONLY

VINCENT NEIL EMERSON

Vincent Neil Emerson has become a staple among folk and country music fans nationwide, celebrated for his honest tales of life on the road, heartbreak, and struggles of all sorts. His first LP, Fried Chicken & Evil Women, from 2019, established him as a refreshing voice in the modern country music landscape. The songs from that first album were charming and playful songs, but didn’t reveal the entirety of Emerson’s story.

On his brilliant new album, The Golden Crystal Kingdom, Emerson transcends the role of a honky-tonk country singer and becomes a chronicler of his history. The album is a bold continuation of the story he tells on Vincent Neil Emerson, with songs like the title track exploring the feelings he was left with after his days spent playing in Texas honky-tonks and dancehalls, and the track “The Time of The Rambler,” inspired by the early days of living in his car and busking on the streets.

He was born and partly raised in East Texas, around his Choctaw-Apache family, and spent most of his life moving around the state. Raised by a single mother, he lost his father to suicide when he was nine. Emerson dealt with those feelings of abandonment and loss on his self-titled album, with the track “Learning to Drown” in particular. His grandmother and grandfather brought the family to Texas when Emerson’s mother was a child, leaving their ancestral Choctaw-Apache homelands in Louisiana behind to try and build a better life for themselves and their children. Emerson always identified with his Native American roots, but it wasn’t until 2021’s self-titled album that he examined and tried to shed light on the devastating history of his tribe with the song “Ballad of the Choctaw Apache.”

Sonically, The Golden Crystal Kingdom finds Emerson expanding his scope into rock and roll territory, tapping into the storied sounds of folk music gone electric, and following in the footsteps of artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. On the album, Emerson retains his diamond-sharp storytelling while imbuing the work with a freewheeling rock and roll aesthetic, creating an album as fun as his live shows and as cathartic as his previous work.

With production from Shooter Jennings, Emerson wanted to establish some sounds as touchstones but emphasized following his own intuition for the aesthetics of his record. “I didn’t really want to model this record after anybody else’s music, but I’ve been heavily influenced by a lot of old rock and roll music from the sixties and seventies singer-songwriter music,” Emerson explains.

As a kid who grew up in a trailer with a single mother, went through bouts of homelessness as a young man, and grinded through countless shows to get where he’s at, Vincent Neil Emerson is never quick to praise his own work ethic. He always refers to the friends, family members, and collaborators who have shown their faith in his vision. But humility doesn’t mean Emerson isn’t one of the hardest working, most talented songwriters to emerge from the alt-country underground in years. His style is one of a kind, and his ability to blend tales of the everyman with tributes to his past, present, and future make him a peerless songwriter. On The Golden Crystal Kingdom, Vincent Neil Emerson carries on the torch of his singer-songwriter forebears while infusing the legacy with his unique and thrilling point of view.