Gene Watson’s ‘From The Heart’ (RMG Records, 2001): Country Music People Review: December 2001

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 ‘From The Heart‘ (RMG Records, 2001), as published in the December 2001 issue of Country Music People.

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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.

From The Heart‘ (RMG Records, 2001)
Country Music PeopleDecember 2001

This review of ‘From The Heart‘ (RMG Records, 2001) by Craig Baguley was published in the December 2001 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Album Review by Craig Baguley
(**** out of 5)
‘It’s great to have Gene Watson back after his health scares, and in such excellent voice.

Produced by the ever dependable Ray Pennington (Friday 22 December 1933 – Wednesday 7 October 2020), ‘From the Heart’ may not be the best album Watson has recorded overall (not quite up there with 1997’s ‘The Good Ole Days‘), but at least one track here would be labelled a classic had it been cut by Gene during his Capitol Records heyday: the sprightly tale of a rich lady wooing an unimpressed cowboy in ‘This Circus That You Call A Rodeo’ is pure Watson all the way.

Zippy Bobby All (passed away on Thursday 19 March 2009) guitar licks, Aubrey Haynie mandolin chops and nifty Buddy Emmons (Wednesday 27 January 1937 – Wednesday 29 July 2015) steel help drive it along to story end as Gene quickly tires of the ‘dog and pony show’ he’s been dragged into.

Slowing the tempo, Gene offers a superb cover of ‘The Truth Is I Lied’, a perfect country ballad from the perfect country pens of Bill Anderson and Skip Ewing, previously cut by Ricochet, but which Watson returns to its rightful place as a down-home country ballad.

Staying in down-tempo mode, there’s a splendid Leslie Satcher / Max T. Barnes ballad, ‘When You’re Not Looking Back’, in which Gene’s vocal moves from a softly sung verses to a reach-out chorus, reminiscent of his classic recording, ‘Where Love Begins’.

Wasn’t as impressed with the languid-paced ‘Would It be Cheating’, whose banal melody lets down its interesting premise of a worn relationship in which a man asks his woman if it would be considered cheating for him to love her as she used to be, not as she is now.

Other highlight cuts include the nimble, brush-driven ‘Next To Nothing’ (‘I’m next to nothing when I’m not next to you’), the pacey ‘Drivin’ Me Sane’, where wild man Watson is tamed by the new lady in his life, the great put-down of ‘No Trash In My Trailer’ (‘since the day I threw you out of here’) and warm, caressing takes on the old Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 – Monday 16 December 2013) hit, ‘Take Me As I Am Or Let Me Go’ and Lefty’s ‘I Never Go Around Mirrors’.

It’s been said that no matter what kind of country music people like – roots, honky tonk or Nashpop – everyone just loves Gene Watson.

From The Heart‘ (RMG Records, 2001) shows why’.

Craig Baguley
Country Music People
December 2001