Dale Watson’s career started in the early 1990s, when he was asked to participate on a demo recording for an independent label. After quickly becoming one of Nashville’s most sought after session players, Dale began writing songs and performing his own material as well. He released his first album independently in 1996 entitled Southbound Pachyderm with one single “I’m Gonna Love You”. The release garnered critical acclaim from fans worldwide who continued to support him throughout his subsequent albums including 2000’s Introducing…Dale Watson which went platinum nationally. In 2007 Dale signed with Valory Music Co., where he has remained since releasing thirteen additional records and touring extensively over more than two decades-playing shows in all 50 states as well as Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia
Dale Watson is a country music singer and songwriter. He has released more than 10 albums, including “The Lost Train” in 2009. His songs have been recorded by artists such as George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Ronnie Milsap, and Willie Nelson.
Dale Watson has positioned himself as a tattooed, fiercely independent outsider solely interested in producing genuine country music. He is a firm believer in old-style honky tonk and Bakersfield country. As a consequence, he hasn’t become a big celebrity, but his music has been praised by many reviewers and he has a devoted following. Watson’s 1995 debut Cheatin’ Heart Attack wowed critics and fans with its potent songwriting and authentic honky tonk vibe, 1998’s The Truckin’ Sessions was the first of a series of LPs devoted to his love of big rigs, 2007’s The Little Darlin’ Sessions saw Watson recording alongside some of the legendary session musicians who inspired him, and 2019’s Call Me Lucky found Watson creatively revitalized after a long hiatus.
Watson was born in Alabama in 1962, but grew up in Houston and considers Texas to be his real home state. He started composing his own songs at the age of 12, and two years later, he made his first album. His father and brother were also musically minded. He spent seven years after graduating from high school performing in local bars and honky tonks. On Rosie Flores’ suggestion, he went to Los Angeles in 1988 and quickly joined the house band at North Hollywood’s now-legendary alt-country club, the Palomino Club. In 1990, he released two songs for Curb, “One Tear at a Time” and “You Pour It On,” and in 1992, he was included on the third edition of the A Town South of Bakersfield compilation series. He went to Nashville not long after and worked as a songwriter for the Gary Morris publishing firm.
Watson didn’t care for commercial country and moved to Austin, Texas, to join the more progressive-minded culture, where he created the Lone Stars, a supporting band. Cheatin’ Heart Attack, his first album, was released in 1995 after he signed a contract with Hightone Records. It was praised for the energy Watson brought to his vintage-style songs and performances, as well as a humorous jab at mainstream country in the song “Nashville Rash.” Blessed or Damned, released in 1996, continued in the same spirit, as did I Hate These Songs, released in 1997. His second album, The Truckin’ Sessions, was released in 1998 on Koch Records and was completely dedicated to the country subgenre of truck-driving songs.
Regrettably, the record was to be his last. Watson’s fiancée was murdered in a car accident in 2000, and he tried to bury his grief in alcohol and drugs, almost dying of an overdose soon after Christmas. He eventually checked himself into a mental hospital to recuperate, and he resurfaced later that year with the profoundly moving tribute Every Song I Write Is for You, which was released on Audium, Koch’s new country label. Christmas in Texas (2001) and Live in London, England were two of the more low-key albums that followed (2002). Watson published Dreamland in 2004, with his heart still on his sleeve but a tougher skin.
In 2005, Watson was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, although he took a vacation from music for the most of the year, relocating to Maryland to be closer to his children. By 2006, he was back performing in Austin, and a documentary about him, Crazy Again, debuted at SXSW that year. The film, directed by Zalman King (who had wanted to feature Watson in a country music drama that was never made), followed Watson’s mental collapse after his fiancée died.
In 2007, the band released a new full-length album, From the Cradle to the Grave, as well as a second album, The Little Darlin’ Sessions. Hyena Records released The Truckin’ Sessions, Vol. 2 in 2009; a box set, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy, released in 2014, included the first two Truckin’ CDs as well as a third disc, which was released as The Truckin’ Sessions, Vol. 3 in 2015. Carryin’ On, a 2010 album featuring session musicians from the 1950s and 1960s, Watson’s favorite period, was released in 2010. In 2012, he recorded El Rancho Azul on Red House Records with his touring band the Lone Stars. On another Red House album, Call Me Insane, in 2015, Watson and the Lone Stars continued to offer their honky tonk style.
Watson kept up his touring and recording schedule in 2016, releasing the live album Live at the Big T Roadhouse: Chicken S#!+ Bingo and the covers album Under the Influence. In early 2017, he released a duet album with Ray Benson, followed by Blackjack towards the end of the year. Watson’s next album, Call Me Lucky, was recorded at the famous Sam Phillips Recording facility in Memphis. Red House Records released it in early 2019. Watson reacted by taking up a unique project, composing and recording a collection of ambient instrumentals at his home studio in Memphis, when the COVID-19 epidemic of 2020 put his touring schedule on pause. Dale Watson Presents: The Memphians, a compilation of the session, was published in February 2021.
Dale Watson is a country music singer. His songs include “I’m Already There,” “My Heart Won’t Break Again,” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.” He has released four albums, including the album “Trouble in Mind” in 2009. Reference: dale watson shows.
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