Gene Watson Show Reviews

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 genre of country music is immeasurable.

It is here where you have an opportunity to read reviews of Gene Watson’s ‘live’ shows.



This Country Music People ‘Live Show’ Review by Duncan Warwick and Tony Byworth, which was published in the August 2012 issue of Country Music People, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.





Americana International Festival, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England: Sunday 8 July 2012

‘On Sunday 8 July 2012, taking a break from their tour of one night stands, Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore brought genuine hardcore country music to Americana.

Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore at Americana International in Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, on Sunday 9 July 2012

Watson, with 50 years of recording to his credit, had a powerful repertoire from which to select songs – including ‘Paper Rosie’, ‘Farewell Party’ and the chart-topping ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’ – while the younger Kilgore is fast winning over the British country fans with a catalogue of virtually fresh material.

Both artists sold CDs and signed autographs to a mass of delighted fans following their appearance on stage’.



This Live Show Review of Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore‘s appearances at Americana International in Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, was written by Duncan Warwick and Tony Byworth and was published in the August 2012 issue of Country Music People.

This Country Music People ‘Live Show’ Review by Duncan Warwick, which was published in the August 2012 issue of Country Music People, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.



Country Music People is Europe’s number one country music magazine – giving you the world of country music from Austin to Nashville and beyond.

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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.



This Country Music People ‘Live Show’ Review by Duncan Warwick, which was published in the August 2012 issue of Country Music People, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Queens’ Hall, Watton, Norfolk, England: Monday 9 July 2012

Hot footing it to Norfolk, following their appearance at Americana the previous day, were Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore, both of whom had previously wowed the audience of the Queen’s Hall crowd with recent performances.

Jerry Kilgore had played there just a few months ago on the Johnny Rodriguez tour, and Gene Watson played to a sell-out crowd last year.

Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore at Queens’ Hall in Watton, Norfolk, England, on Monday 9 July 2012

Jerry Kilgore had been so well received on his last visit that promoter Nicky James added him to the bill only recently, which delighted his growing number of fans on this side of the pond.  With his slightly Dwight-like stage presence and killer self-written songs, he was warmly welcomed back to Norfolk.

Last time he was here, Jerry Kilgore ended up closing the show for Johnny Rodriguez and became the headliner by default.

This time, in a strange twist, he was first of the billed artists on stage.  It didn’t seem right somehow, an artist of his calibre effectively opening for Lisa McHugh who, despite having played The Opry, recorded with Gene Watson and later credited by Watson as ‘the best female singer he’s ever sung with’ (shouldn’t think Rhonda Vincent would be too happy) was something of a lightweight compared to the others.  Her set was rather too fluffy and a little corny for me.

Gene Watson, however, is far from a musical lightweight.  Now celebrating fifty years of performing, he has made many of the greatest country records of all time (another candidate for the Hall of Fame surely?) and can sing them as well today as he ever could, although he did apologise of some sinus problems he was having on this visit.  He still sounded good to me, but I’m partial to a nasally voice anyway.

Watson ripped through many of his hits in a set very similar to his last visit but that didn’t bother the crowd at all.  I get the feeling that they will never tire of hearing ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’, and for that matter, neither will I.  Probably the biggest reaction of the evening was for ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’, a song favoured by powerfully voiced singers, all the while C’est La Vie, the band of choice for visiting US stars these days didn’t miss a beat.

Watson was relaxed and happy to share with the audience his ordeals with lost baggage and delayed flights on his way over here, and with his dry Texas spin on the situation, he could have a sideline career doing stand-up.



Jerry Kilgore and Gene Watson were both doing good business with their CDs at the end of the evening, Kilgore with his ‘Telephone, TX’ (Nic Nic Neer Records, 2011) and Watson with his album of newly recorded ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012) and were happy to meet fans, some of whom had traveled from London and even the far reaches of Scotland for the gig, for some time afterward.

We now have visits from Larry Gatlin and Will Banister to look forward to in the coming months, courtesy of the same promoter.  Who says you can’t find real country music in the UK?’



This Live Show Review of Gene Watson and Jerry Kilgore‘s appearance at Queens’ Hall in Watton, Norfolk, England, was written by Duncan Warwick and was published in the August 2012 issue of Country Music People.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas

This Dallas Morning News ‘Live Show’ Review by Mario Tarradell, Music Critic at Dallas Morning News, which was published in the Saturday 4 August 2012 issue of The Dallas Morning News, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Arlington Music Hall, Arlington, Texas, USA: Friday 4 August 2012

‘Arlington, Texas – time has been mighty kind to Gene Watson’s voice.

The traditional country singer hasn’t lost an ounce of his smooth timbre.

His vocals remain a free-flowing combination of baritone with a smidgen of tenor and nasal twang.  He can still croon his career hits in the same key they were written nearly four decades ago.

It sure helps that he quit drinking in 1980 and quit smoking in 1990.

Onstage Friday night (3 August 2012) at Arlington Music Hall, Watson and his five-man Farewell Party Band headlined a 90-minute show that put the native Texan’s pipes under the spotlight.

The gig, featuring an opening set by special guest Luke Robinson and his three-man band, served as a celebration of Watson’s 50 years in country music.  It was also a sort-of homecoming since he told us he lived in Arlington during the 1960s.



Gene Watson’s ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ was released on Gene’s own record label, Fourteen Carat Music, on Tuesday 14 February 2012.

Gene Watson at Arlington Music Hall in Arlington, Texas on Friday 3 August 2012
(photo credit: Solomon Ross)

‘Watson, now based in the Kingwood area of Houston, offered plenty of old-school country crooning.  In between songs, he was personable, talkative and funny.  But it was all about that voice and those songs.

Opening with ‘Should I Come Home (or Should I Go Crazy)’, Watson then slipped into his 1975 breakthrough smash, the sultry ‘Love In The Hot Afternoon’.

Pedal steel guitar mingled with keyboards, while electric guitar, bass and drums provided the seamless rhythms’.

Gene Watson at Arlington Music Hall in Arlington, Texas on Friday 3 August 2012
(photo credit: Solomon Ross)

‘Everything about the 68-year-old Watson – from the voice to the stage presence – was testament to a bygone era.

He’s an entertainer as much as he’s a singer, the kind of artist who knows how to treat a crowd as if they were all guests in his living room.  Best of all, he doesn’t need fiery props, intricate lighting or huge video screens.

He just sings.  His best vocals of the evening were ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’, a powerful, inspirational ballad, and a couple of classics – ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’ and ‘Farewell Party’.  The latter is his signature song, his most requested staple, while the former is his treasured No.1 from 1982.

Among a few other diamonds of the night: the sweet country ballad ‘I Don‚Äôt Need A Thing At All’ and the South-of-the-border excursion ‘Carmen’.  He even exercised his raspy undertone when he treated us to ‘Bad Water’, his 1974 cover of a tune by The Raelettes, Ray Charles’ backing vocals girl group.

Watson could have easily kept singing for another hour.  His voice was up for the challenge’.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas

This Live Show Review of Gene Watson’s appearance at Arlington Music Hall in Arlington, Texas USA, was written by Mario Tarradell and was published in the Saturday 4 August 2012 issue of The Dallas Morning News; it was reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers.

Photographs of Gene Watson were courtesy of Solomon Ross.