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…Then & Now‘ (Koch Records Nashville, 2005) by Al Moir was published in the October 2005 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.
Album Review by Al Moir
(***** out of 5)
‘Since his first chart entry in 1975 with ‘Love In The Hot Afternoon‘, Gene Watson has seen a lot of chart action on various major labels, namely Capitol, MCA, Curb, Epic and Warner.
However, he made it all the way to the top just once, with ‘Fourteen Carat Mind‘ in 1982, and many would argue that this instantly recognisable vocal stylist has never had the recognition he fully deserved.
Over the years, he released consistently good albums that included a wealth of material never released as singles and which were therefore overlooked by DJs.
Watson has now decided to dig out some of these great but ignored songs and re-record them.
Gathering together a number of Nashville’s finest, including Jimmy Capps (Thursday 25 May 1939 – Monday 1 June 2020), Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (Tuesday 18 January 1938 – Sunday 30 January 2022), Gregg Galbraith, Sonny Garrish, Hank Singer and Hoot Hester (Monday 13 August 1951 – Tuesday 30 August 2016), he self-financed ten of the tracks before Koch Records stepped in to take the album on.
Only four of the songs – ‘Back In The Fire’, ‘You Could Know As Much About A Stranger’, ‘Sometimes I Get Lucky’ and ‘The Jukebox Played Along’ – were released as singles, the remainder being relegated to album tracks. On these newly-cut versions, Watson is in terrific vocal form, as good as when he originally recorded them.
Making no concessions towards what is today considered commercial or radio friendly, Watson remains solidly country, and it is genuinely refreshing to hear him singing with more passion and soul than many artists we are asked to accept as being dyed-in-the-wool country these days.
Watson drips with country soul on ballads like ‘Only Yesterday’, ‘I Didn’t Think of You At All’, ‘I Wonder How It Is In Colorado’ and ‘I Catch Myself’, and his reading of the more up-tempo tunes such as ‘If I’m A Fool For Leaving’ and ‘You Put Out An Old Flame Last Night’ are flawless.
According to Watson, he intends to delve back into more of his earlier recordings to find material worthy of renewed exposure, so ‘Then & Now‘ could well be the first in a series of similar releases.
If this is the case, Gene Watson fans, and indeed anyone seeking the real deal in country music, really do have something to look forward to’.
Country Music People