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.
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Country Music People have long ago nailed its colours to the mast where Gene Watson is concerned.
CMP 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.
This review of ‘Gene Watson…Sings‘ (Intersound Records, 2003) by Craig Baguley was published in the December 2003 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.
Album Review by Craig Baguley
(****½ out of 5)
‘I was long-neckin’ with the boys at the local hot spot’, sings Gene Watson as he kicks off this, his finest album in years.
And, even though he indulges himself with a touch of country croonin’ on the standard, ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’, ‘Sings‘ is proof positive once again that Watson could never be anything but country.
The Texan born vocalist has been mesmerising audiences for 30 years, although his commercial glory days faded away in the mid-80s after a boom period that added such mighty cuts as ‘Where Love Begins’, ‘I Don’t Need A Thing At All’, ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’, ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’ and, of course, ‘Farewell Party’, to the catalogue of classic recordings in country music.
Where the combination of Gene Watson, singer, and Ray Griff (Monday 22 April 1940 – Wednesday 9 March 2016), writer, created magic in the 70s, now that of Watson and song-writing genius Bill Anderson does the same with two meticulous ballads.
In the break-up song, ‘Make Sure You Got It All’, a co-write with Steve Wariner, Gene tells his ex to take everything with her when she leaves, begging her to ‘take my heart, take my soul, just leave the floor here to catch me when I fall’. A faultless lyric wrapped up in a faultless performance.
Similarly cheerless is Anderson and Sharon Vaughn’s ‘When A Man Can’t Get A Woman Off His Mind’ with a desperate Watson driven to sweaty, sleepless nights while the lady he loves is out enjoying herself with someone else.
Another fine country writer who provides a brace of songs is Billy Yates, with Gene covering his ironic tale of alcohol, tragedy and redemption, ‘Flowers’, and ‘Hold Me’, in which the danger of drink is cleverly assayed by singing the song from the point of a view of a bottle outlining its role as a comforter.
Moving up a gear in pace, ‘New Woman’ turns the tables on Gene as a man happy to divorce his wife, only to see her enter his favourite watering hole looking a stunner and chatting up his mates: ‘it’s a hell of a time for me to be her ex old man’, he moans to himself.
‘The Coast of Texas’ delightfully two-tempos between a sunny south-of-the-border rhythm and a straight-to-the-floor Texas shuffle.
Musicians include steel player Sonny Garrish, fiddlers Rob Hajacos and Aubrey Haynie, and solid rock pianist Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (Tuesday 18 January 1938 – Sunday 30 January 2022), whose presence indicates these recordings were laid down at least three years ago.
No matter, though, that we’ve had to wait a while – Gene Watson is a true great and we should be thankful he’s still putting albums out when many of his fellow veterans are being passed by’.
Country Music People