Gene Watson Recording New Material: Tuesday 24 August 2021

Gene Watson and Dirk Johnson

On Tuesday 24 August 2021Gene Watson was in the Ronnie’s Place studio in Nashville, with his producer, Dirk Johnson, and a host of acclaimed musicians, working on material for inclusion on Gene Watson’s new album project.

Rob Tripp (drums), Gene Watson, Mark Johnson (bass), Dirk Johnson (producer and piano/keyboards), Brent Mason (electric guitar), Mike Johnson (pedal steel) and Kevin Williams (acoustic guitar) at Ronnie's Place in Nashville on Tuesday 24 August 2021

Rob Tripp (Saturday 19 December 1964 – Wednesday 8 December 2021) (drums), Gene Watson, Mark Johnson (bass), Dirk Johnson (producer and piano / keyboards), Brent Mason (electric guitar), Mike Johnson (pedal steel) and Kevin Williams (acoustic guitar) at Ronnie’s Place in Nashville on Tuesday 24 August 2021

‘The last week of August 2021 was a busy one.

On Tuesday 24 August 2021 (and on Wednesday 25 August 2021), I recorded at the original Ronnie Milsap studio on Music Row – aptly named Ronnie’s Place.

Working with my longtime producer, Dirk Johnson, the musicians & I did what is termed ‘tracking’ on these days.

If you’re not familiar with this term, it simply means the musicians record the ‘music tracks’, while I adds ‘scratch’ vocals for them to work off and later, I will go back in to do the final vocals.

With a singer as powerful as myself, there have often been times where the producer used the scratch vocal because it was that good.

To prove that point, here are the words from one of the world’s most notable guitar players, John Jorgenson, a Desert Rose Band member, former touring guitar player for Bob Dylan and Elton John and collaborator with Earl Scruggs (Sunday 6 January 1924 – Wednesday 28 March 2012), Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan, Sting, and many others:

Gene Watson: 'Back In The Fire' (Warner Bros. Records, 1988)

Gene Watson‘s ‘Back In The Fire’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1988) album was one of my first experiences as an A-team session player in Nashville.  I was amazed at how incredibly well he sang during the tracking sessions – his tracking vocals were better than most singer’s final vocals’

This quote from John Jorgenson is courtesy of Gene Watson’s Fan Site at

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