Gene Watson’s ‘A Taste of The Truth’ (Shanachie Records, 2009): Country Music People Review: October 2009

Gene Watson has been singing professionally since the late 1950s and has been a country music album recording artist since the late 1960s.

Gene Watson’s contribution to the country music genre is immeasurable.

It is here where you have an opportunity to read a review of Gene Watson’s ‘A Taste of the Truth‘ (Shanachie Records, 2009), as published in the¬†October 2009¬†issue of¬†Country Music People.

Country Music People is Europe’s number one country music magazine – giving you the world of country music from Austin to Nashville and beyond.

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Covering the latest country music news, the hot new releases, as well as older classics and favourites, Country Music People is the specialist expert on country music – past, present and future.

Country Music People have long ago nailed its colours to the mast where Gene Watson is concerned.

 has rigorously championed Gene Watson’s cause down through the years and have published a number of reviews of his album releases.

All reviews have been reproduced with the kind permission of Country Music People.

A Taste of the Truth‘ (Shanachie Records, 2009)
Country Music PeopleOctober 2009

This review of ‘A Taste of the Truth‘ (Shanachie Records, 2009) by Duncan Warwick was published in the October 2009 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Album Review by Duncan Warwick
CD of the Month
(***** out of 5)
‘Gene Watson is a long-time favourite of CMP, and we’re in good company.

His hits from the 70s have played a major part in influencing some of the biggest stars around today, Alan Jackson, Joe Nichols and others who still make what are frequently referred to as ‘real country’ records.

George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) cites him as ‘one of his all-time favourite ballad singers’, and it’s not just because of 23 top ten hits and 6 number ones he’s notched up over his 40 year career, it’s just that he’s a truly great singer, and over the years, has given those who long for traditional country exactly what they crave for in one of the most soulful packages imaginable.

A new Gene Watson album is always welcome but this one, even more so.

Without a doubt, this is his best in quite a few years.  Gene has chosen the songs personally, and it is the strength of the songs, along with that great voice, as good as ever at 65, which makes this one stand out.

He has also managed to draft in a heavyweight hit maker of the current era in the shape of Trace Adkins, some harmonies from an almost un-credited Alison Krauss, and a duet with Rhonda Vincent, described on the sleeve as a ‘country music anthem’, is just that.

Trace Adkins duets on the almost swampy country music ain’t dead sing-a-longer from the pens of Jerry Salley and Billy Yates, ‘just as long as I’m alive, they’ll be songs about grieving…and cheatin’ and drinkin’ and lovin’ a good woman right’ sings Watson, and he has the history to back it up.  Adkins adds at one point rather nicely ‘this ain’t no Farewell Party’.  You get the idea, and maybe with Adkins’ name on it, it will hopefully pick up some airplay stateside.

As I mentioned, it is the songs which really lift this album to the next level, and a glance through the credits contains some big name song-smiths.

Tim Menzies, Shawn Camp, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Curly Putman (Thursday 20 November 1930 – Sunday 30 October 2016), Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 – Wednesday 30 March 2011), Keith Stegall and Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010) are all there, and Gene has done a first rate job of choosing what to cut.

Grieving is what Watson does best, and he does it better than ever on ‘A Taste of The Truth’, ‘Til A Better Memory Comes Along’, ‘It’s My Lie’ and the waltzing ode to our old friend the jukebox, ‘Three Minutes At A Time’.

‘Staying Together’, the duet with Rhonda Vincent, is poignant and beautiful, telling of a relationship which looks fine to everyone, except those who are in it and stay together for the sake of the children, and ‘Still They Call Me Love’ could well be the song of the year in my book, correction – one of the best songs of any year.

Ken Mellons has already recorded it, but has yet to release it, apart from as a download as far as I know.  A very clever song written by Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 – Wednesday 30 March 2011) and John Wiggins, from love’s perspective (‘I invented heartbreak, I came up with pain, how much can these fools take, are they all insane, I’m as bad as whiskey, as strong as any drug, poison when you kiss me and still they call me love’) – truly a work of genius that is worth the purchase price alone.

If you are a fan of Gene Watson, you’ll be buying this anyway and, if you’ve ever bemoaned the lack of true country music available today, miss this at your peril.

This is exactly what country music is, and ever should be.  Wonderful’.

Duncan Warwick
Country Music People
October 2009