Gene Watson’s Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as ‘the singer’s singer’ – and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson’s Peers, who were contacted during 2022, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Karen Tobin, which she submitted to this site on Friday 6 May 2022.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Karen Tobin who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Friday 6 May 2022.
”Gene Watson has that amazing traditional country voice that can make a woman melt.
I sure wish he would sing one of my songs someday! It would be an honour.
I would love to hear him sing ‘Shadow On The Wall’, from the CD, ‘Before It’s Too Late’ (Sunnyland Productions, 2018)’
Thank you, Karen Tobin, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Karen Tobin…
Karen Tobin was born in Pennsylvania.
Karen Tobin was classically trained at Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music in her home state of Pennsylvania.
Karen Tobin started singing professionally after moving to San Francisco, California in 1976 and ended up her stint there as a featured vocalist on a Hot Tuna album, ‘Hoppkorv’ (Grunt Records, 1976) – Hoppkorv is Swedish for ‘Jumping Hot Dog’.
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Karen Tobin was signed to a recording contract by Clive Davis of Arista Records.
In the mid-1980s, Karen Tobin saw the release, on Arista Records, of two singles, ‘I Don’t Want To Be Lonely’ / ‘Ain’t Love Great’ in 1984, and ‘If You Think You Know How To Love Me’ / ‘Ain’t Love Great’ in 1985, but both singles did not chart on the Billboard country music singles chart, and an album was never released.
It was at this time that Karen Tobin also toured Europe as a vocalist with Poco.
A powerful, sensitive singer and songwriter, Karen Tobin has been compared with such luminaries of the female vocalist elite as Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.
Taking time off to raise her two daughters, Karen Tobin’s songwriting flourished. As her love for the music business prevailed, Karen Tobin started writing country songs stylistically influenced by legendary Gram Parsons (Tuesday 5 November 1946 – Wednesday 19 September 1973) and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
In 1988, Karen Tobin’s duo, Crazy Hearts (country music’s answer to Fleetwood Mac), were immediately asked to contribute a track, ‘We Get Along Just Fine (When We’re Apart)’, to ‘Town South of Bakersfield, Volume 2’ (Resless Records, 1988). Crazy Hearts became a local favourite, playing around the Los Angeles area, and at country music festivals.
Keith Stegall, the highly renowned producer behind the success of Alan Jackson, heard Karen Tobin sing at the famous Palomino Club and was immediately hooked.
Before she knew it, Karen Tobin was in Nashville recording several demos with Keith Stegall.
The call from Atlantic Records Nashville came soon after, along with the release of Karen Tobin’s critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Carolina Smokey Moon’ (Atlantic Records, 1991).
On Tuesday 1 October 1991, Karen Tobin saw the release of her debut album, ‘Carolina Smokey Moon’ (Atlantic Records, 1991), which was produced by Keith Stegall, and included three tracks, which were released as singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:
‘Carolina Smokey Moon’, which was written by Stephen Allen Davis (Tuesday 4 October 1949 – Monday 26 December 2022) / this track was released as a single in 1991, but it did not chart / this track was made into a video, which received airplay on Country Music Television (CMT) and The Nashville Network (TNN)
‘Love From A Heart of Stone’ (written by Gretchen Peters) / this track was released as a single in 1992, but it did not chart
‘Picture of Your Daddy’, which was written by Mark Steed Fosson (Tuesday 16 May 1950 – Friday 2 November 2018) / this track was released as a single in 1992, but it did not chart
Karen Tobin’s debut album, ‘Carolina Smokey Moon’ (Atlantic Records, 1991), also included the following tracks:
‘Holdin’ Out For You’ (written by Gail Davies and Paul Kennerly)
‘My Sweet Love Ain’t Around’, which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953)
‘Anywhere But Here’ (written by Buddy Cannon, Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill)
‘The Passing of The Train’ (written by Gene Nelson and Jim Rushing)
‘I Know This Love By Heart’ (written by Gary Harrison, Keith Stegall and Karen Tobin)
‘Wedding Bed’ (written by Carol Elliott and Steve Seskin)
‘Stars Above’, which was written by Mark Steed Fosson (Tuesday 16 May 1950 – Friday 2 November 2018)
In 1992, Karen Tobin & Crazy Hearts saw the release of ‘Karen Tobin & Crazy Hearts’ (Big Otis Records, 1992), which included the following tracks:
‘Take It Back’
‘Over My Heart’
‘Playing For Keeps’ / this track featured guest vocals from Mark Steed Fosson (Tuesday 16 May 1950 – Friday 2 November 2018)
‘Walking With Angels’
‘Talk of The Town’
‘I’ll Be Over You’
By 1997, Karen Tobin had formed her own record label, Sunnyland, and offered the project ‘Favorites’ (Sunnyland Productions, 1997) that same year.
In 2000, Karen Tobin sang background vocals on ‘Wires From The Bunker’ (Appleseed Recordings, 2000) from John Stewart (Tuesday 5 September 1939 – Saturday 19 January 2008).
In 2001, Karen Tobin teamed up with Los Angeles-area singers, Lois Blaisch and Shandi Sinnamon, for the album ‘Lady Luck’, which combined three-part harmonies with country music and pop music flavours.
On Tuesday 19 August 2003, Karen Tobin saw the release of ‘That’s What You Get’ (Sunnyland Productions, 2003), which included the following tracks:
‘River of Time’
‘The Wishing Well’
‘Hills of Home’
‘That’s What You Get’
‘I’ll Be Over You’
‘For The First Time’
‘Walking With Angels’
‘Love Is All You Need’
On Wednesday 14 February 2018, Karen Tobin saw the release of ‘Before It’s Too Late’ (Sunnyland Productions, 2018), which included the following tracks:
‘Before It’s Too Late’
‘Those Blue Eyes’
‘Shadow On The Wall’
‘Flame of Love’
‘Bed of Promises’
‘What Used To Be’
‘Give Back My Heart’
‘Honky Tonk Heartache’
‘Walk Through Fire’
‘Ring Around The Moon’
‘All That It Takes’
‘Until We Meet Again’
‘Those Lovin’ Arms’
Karen Tobin was nominated as ‘Best Female Artist’ by Los Angeles Music Awards, along with Dwight Yoakum and Jim Lauderdale, and has sung on projects with Neil Young, Everclear, Hot Tuna, and Oasis.
Karen Tobin has had her compositions recorded by artists in Switzerland, Holland, Japan and the United States.
Karen Tobin can be heard singing on various movie soundtracks, and is a prolific songwriter with a sensitive lyrical style.