Gene Watson's Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted during 2013, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Sharon Cort, which she submitted to this site on Saturday 24 August 2013.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Sharon Cort who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Saturday 24 August 2013.
'May I congratulate you on your stupendous site! Wow! That's all I can say!
You have been so thorough and so respectful of these artists who have provided the quotes.
I am honoured and humbled to be asked. Here's mine:
It is an honour to be asked to contribute a quote for the great Gene Watson.
Few singers in our time embody the truth, integrity and soulful 'straight-to-the-heart' connection that he has.
That is his signature, telling you that is a Gene Watson song.
He truly is a 'singer's singer', and ranks up there with the legends of voice: George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013) and Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016)'.
Thank you, Sharon Cort, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Sharon Cort...
Sharon Cort is a child of southern California, so it was was inevitable that Sharon’s music would turn to countrymusic/folk neo-traditionalism.
From Sharon Cort’s early heroes Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and The Byrds, harmony and duet singing has always been at the forefront of her sound.
From Johnny & Jack, Dolly Parton, Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006) and The Louvin Brothers, Sharon Cort gained a love of true country music.
In 1988, Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Laurie Lewis, and a host of 'who’s who' of today’s Americana music, began to find a home at an unlikely club called 'The Breakaway' in Venice, which had spawned what was coined as a 'nu-folk' movement, and summoned the L.A. underground press to pay attention.
Soon 'coffee houses' began to spring up along the Melrose and Hollywood, hosting some of the best singer-songwriters in today’s music, and Sharon Cort was invited to play regularly.
Together with teacher and mentor Howard Yearwood, they were featured on an album recorded live 'The Best Of The Breakaway' and together with singer-songwriter John Gonzalez, performed their brand of acoustic/folk/country music all over southern California.
In 1995, Sharon Cort decided to bring her singing and further her songwriting to Nashville, performing at The Bluebird Cafe, The Station Inn and regularly at the gritty Robert’s Western Wear on Broadway (the home of BR5-49).
Sharon Cort quickly expanded to national recognition in the United States with her vocal and songwriting talents.
It was also in 1995 when Sharon Cort saw the release of her debut album, 'Highway to Here' (Rose Records, 1995).
Sharon's songwriting talents were featured on the album, including the gospel-tinged 'Many Mansions', the biographical 'Roses On My Street', the haunting 'Maiden On The Bow' and the gypsy-flavoured 'Stranded'.
Sharon Cort was featured in 'American Songwriter' and 'New Country Magazine' and was asked to showcase before the International Bluegrass Music Association in 1998 and, after successfully touring Europe for over eight years with her stellar band, featuring Tom Corbett (String Wizards, Robin & L Williams), Butch Baldassari (Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Homespun Tapes), banjo legend Bill Keith and others, Sharon was finally receiving the United States recognition she deserved.
Sharon Cort collaborated with some of Nashville's finest songwriters, including Danny 'Bear' Mayo (Monday 2 October 1950 - Saturday 2 October 1999), one of the composers of 'The Keeper Of The Stars', which was a Billboard country music hit single for Tracy Byrd (No.2, 1995).
Tracy Byrd recorded 'The Keeper Of The Stars', which was written by Dickey Lee, Danny 'Bear' Mayo (Monday 2 October 1950 - Saturday 2 October 1999) and Karen Staley and included the track on 'No Ordinary Man' (MCA Records, 1994); the track was released in February 1995 as the fourth and last single from Tracy Byrd's album 'No Ordinary Man' and went on to reach a peak position of No.2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1995. In 1996, a year after its release, it was named 'Song of the Year' by the Country Music Association (CMA).
Sharon Cort branched into a more traditional bluegrass sound alongside Ernie Sykes, Butch Baldassari, Bill Keith and Jeff Wisor as New River Ranch to high praise and continues to tour extensively in Europe.
The original members Howard Yearwood, Tom Corbett, Andrew Paddock and Walden Dahl toured France at the invitation of 'Americaen', a French association who sponsor an American band annually led by William and Nathalie Varall. Highlights of the tour included an appearance at France's premier festival, 'Country Rendevous', which took place in Crapponne.
For over two decades, Sharon Cort has found herself lucky enough to play a small part in the furthering of roots music. This means more to her than any accolades that most artists look for. Sharon continues to tour regularly in Europe and performed on French television in Paris in 2007 as part of a tribute to the 'Father of French Bluegrass Music', her late friend Mick Larie. The opportunity offered a rare glimpse into American country and roots music, not often seen on French television.
In 2010, Sharon Cort was excited that Milan Bogdan, legendary engineer and producer, and recipient of ten Grammy Awards, stepped in to master her latest project, 'Country Cafe' (Rose Records, 2010), which was recorded at Sidekick Sound Studios by Mark Thornton, a talented producer and guitar player himself.
Sharon, who had toured twice in Europe in 2010, kicked off the official release of her second album, 'Country Cafe' (Rose Records, 2010), at the celebrated Country Café, on Monday 15 November 2010 at 12th & Porter’s Lounge in Nashville. Performing along with Sharon were Aaron Till on fiddle, Ernie Sykes on bass and Justin Clark on mandolin (who were all featured on the recordings), along with the addition of Larry Perkins on banjo.
This was the first reunion of the band since Ernie Sykes moved to New York in 2007. Aaron Till and Justin Clark, celebrated musicians in their own right, were both featured on Jim Lauderdale’s Grammy Award-winning Bluegrass diaries, while Larry Perkins contributed to the 'Down From The Mountain' tour, as well as the PBS special 'The Carter Family - An American Family Experience'. The night also featured Barbara Lamb, formerly of Asleep at the Wheel, performing solo from her own new album release, 'Twisty Girl'.
Sharon Cort's second album, 'Country Cafe' (Rose Records, 2010), included the following tracks:
'Till I See You Again'
'High Sierra', which was written by Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011)
'Stranded' (written by Sharon Cort)
'Back Where We Parted'
'Big Country' (instrumental)
'I Wish It Had Been A Dream' / track originally recorded by The Louvin Brothers and included on 'My Baby's Gone' (Capitol Records, 1960)
'One For You, One For Me', which was written by Justin Tubb (Tuesday 20 August 1935 - Saturday 24 January 1998) / track originally recorded by Justin Tubb and included on 'Star Of The Grand Ole Opry' (Starday Records, 1962)
'Cabin Of Love'
'Sweethearts In Heaven'
Personnel who were involved in the recording of Sharon Cort's 'Country Cafe' (Rose Records, 2010) included the following:
Rich Arnold (resonator guitar)
Justin Clark (mandolin)
Richard Collins (banjo, vocals)
Ernie Sykes (bass, vocals)
Aaron Till (fiddle, guitar)
The critics answer with accolades about Sharon Cort. The tradition which began in the 1950s and 1960s are in good hands with singers like Sharon. 'Bluegrass Now Magazine' said this about her: 'Her original singing style is powerful and emotional, her writing style is equally original, combining modern elements within a traditional framework'.
What began in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains, in Topanga Canyon, some years ago, has now come full circle to her home in Nashville. Sharon Cort's deep love of rock music, jazz and roots country are shadowed in her honest, folksy style. 'My musical integrity is all that I have, and what matters most to me', Sharon confesses.
At the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson 'Peer's Quote', in August 2013, Sharon Cort was heavily involved in 'The Mockingbird Sings', a time travel experience which whisks the audience back to Bristol VA/TN in 1927, when Ralph Peer came down from New York City and started recording the music and musicians of Appalachia. It's a charming entertainment, based in history and its current manifestation at the Looby Theatre is Nashville's opportunity to be in on the birth of a fine new piece of theatre.
The show is a collaboration between Terry Harkleroad of Kingsport, Tennessee and Sharon Cort of Los Angeles and in this fusion we have the essence of what makes contemporary Nashville a city that is, once again, reverberating with talent and making entertainment history - the attraction of artists from all parts to a city that causes them to dream day dreams.
The cast of 'The Mockingbird Sings' included the following:
Aaron Crites: Jimmie Rodgers, Ray English
Sharon Cort: Soloist, Opening
C.J. John Van Asrdall: 'Can Joe John'
Don McNatt: Old Codger, Gospel Singer
Daulton Burns: 'Pops' Stoneman
Erin Harris: Eula Mae Bassett, Gospel Singer
Howard Yearwood: 'Grandpa' Arlee
J. Robert Lindsey: Eddie Snow
Jack & Josh Rieg: Kids at WOPI
Jaime Dorsey: Mary Martha Bassett
James 'Nick' Nixon: Toney, The Porter
Jessica Wolf: Monique Peer
Joe Rieg: WOPI Announcer
John Toney: Ralph Peer
Jordan Wolf: Soloist, Gospel Singer, Choir
Kelsey Crews: Royal Campbell
Kathy Chiavola: Maybelle Carter, Choir Singer
Sarah Crews: Lucy, Sara Carter, Choir Singer
Stan Lawrence: Narrator, A. P. Carter
Banjo: Kelsey Crews
Fiddle: Aaron Till
Guitar: Howard Yearwood
Mandolin: Stan Lawrence
Terry Harkleroad and Sharon Cort have woven the tale of country music everyman Eddie Snow into a quilt of Appalachian music and old fashioned storytelling. The music is very much the heart of the play, combining iconic traditional pieces with new original works which tell us that this music is not ready for the museum archives but lives just as much in this moment as it did eighty-six years ago when artists such as Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933) and The Carter Family stepped up to the microphone in Ralph Peer's studio.
LISTEN to The Mockingbird Radio Hour
Connect with Sharon Cort at sharoncort.com
The Mockingbird Sings