Charley Crockett performs at State Theatre in Portland on Saturday. Robert Ker

Country singer Charley Crockett, a sharp-dressed man with a rock-solid songbook and a showman’s flair, stopped at the State Theatre amid his journey from busking streets to the bright lights of the world’s stages.

The show sold out months ago, and there was far more Western wear in the audience than you’d normally see on Saturday night in Portland. While most country acts skip this town on their way to Bangor – due primarily to their allegiance with Live Nation – there is a robust audience for the music in southern Maine. Crockett’s June 1 concert was a night for dressing up and showing out.

This mood all started with the artist himself. Everything from his hat to the stage setup to the repertoire itself spoke to the music’s history while blending in disparate genres from soul to blues to Tejano. In true country and western tradition, Crockett blended myth-making and storytelling with bits of his personal history (which, as a descendant of Davy Crockett, feels a bit like a myth). His opening song, “$10 Cowboy” – also the title track from his new album – at times refers to a rodeo star, to (perhaps) a wanted poster, and to the sum of money earned from an OK day of busking. “Good at Losing” offered biographical details while romanticizing the rambling-man trope. His midtempo blues number “Silver Dagger” even recalls his fellow Texas-born traditionalist Leon Bridges.

Crockett initially presented himself as a stoic crooner, only stepping back on occasion to take a compact solo or hold his guitar machine-gun style, like Johnny Cash used to. As the set continued, he shrugged that off in favor of the showman route, opening the songs up to rowdier dimensions. By the middle of the concert, this flag was planted with the rollicking “I’m Just a Clown,” teasing the audience before retreating to a small suite of solo acoustic songs, including a murder ballad by obscure country singer Red Lane.

This was the first of several cover songs in his set, which ranged from heavy (Link Wray’s hard-hitting “Juke Box Mama”) to easygoing (Tanya Tucker’s “The Jamestown Ferry”). He closed his set with take on Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman” that retained the tight-pocket minimalism of Jennings’ band. That song is perhaps more famous for Willie Nelson’s duet, cover and live staple, and Nelson has been an early and consistent champion of Crockett’s.

By infusing his set generously with an array of covers, Crockett positions himself as part of a songwriting tradition, plainly laying out the blueprint of his influences. At 40 years old, he seems like he’s just getting started – “$10 Cowboy” is his best record yet – and when he comes back around, there will likely be even more cowboy hats cropping up above the crowd.

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