Gene Watson’s ‘Matters of The Heart’ (Hump Head Country, 2008): Country Music People Review: November 2008

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.

It is here where you have an opportunity to read a review of Gene Watson’s ‘Matters of the Heart‘ (Hump Head Country, 2008), as published in the November 2008 issue of Country Music People.

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

 gives you the world of country music.  New Country, Roots, Honky Tonk, Americana, Traditional, Acoustic, Country-Rock, Old Time, Bluegrass, NashPop, Cowboy, Rockabilly, Western Swing, Singer-Songwriter, Alternative…The biggest stars, the hottest buzz, and the best music – Country Music People is the passionate fan’s all-access pass to everything country!

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.

Country Music People have long ago nailed its colours to the mast where Gene Watson is concerned.

 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.

Matters of the Heart‘ (Hump Head Country, 2008)
Country Music PeopleNovember 2008

This review of ‘Matters of the Heart‘ (Hump Head Country, 2008) by Al Moir was published in the November 2008 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Album Review by Al Moir
(***** out of 5)
‘Gene Watson is the epitome of genuine honky tonk music but, despite having enjoyed 21 top twenty hits between 1975 and 1997, and having released numerous excellent albums on, firstly, Capitol Records, followed by MCA, Epic and Warner Brothers, he was never really accorded the level of recognition he deserved.

As the face of country music altered and countless new names showed a willingness to bow to the demands of mainstream country, Watson steadfastly remained true to his roots, a stance highly commended by followers of a more traditional approach.

To the best of my knowledge, the four albums he released on MCA between 1981 and 1983 – Between This Time & The Next Time‘ (MCA Records, 1981), ‘Old Loves Never Die‘ (MCA Records, 1981), ‘This Dream’s on Me‘ (MCA Records, 1982) and ‘Sometimes I Get Lucky‘ (MCA Records, 1983) – from which these 20 tracks have been compiled, have never been made available on CD.

Watson excelled at sad tales of losers in love, the very bedrock of honky tonk, and there is no shortage here: ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’ (his only Billboard No.1 hit), ‘Lonely Me’, ‘Maybe I Should Have Been Listening’, ‘Sometimes I Get Lucky & Forget’, ‘Old Loves Never Die’ and ‘You’re Just Another Beer Drinkin’ Song’ being prime examples of the genre.

Another staple theme of honky tonk is, of course, cheating songs, and these too are well represented through titles like ‘Til Melinda Comes Around’, ‘You Sure Make Cheatin’ Seem Easy’ and ‘What She Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Her’.

Watson infuses songs like these with such soul that he makes them totally convincing.

The same passion is evident when he tackles songs of remorse and straight down the line love ballads, as he does on ‘This Dream’s On Me’, ‘You Waltzed Yourself Right Into My Life’, ‘Baby Me Baby’, ‘If I Were You, I’d Fall In Love With Me’, ‘Roads & Other Reasons’ and ‘The Girl I Used To Run Around On’.

Add to these Tom T. Hall‘s tragic ‘Three’ and the ironic ‘From Cotton To Satin’ and you have a carefully thought out selection of material from some of the finest writers of the time.

Long-time fans will welcome this generous offering to supplement their 25-year-old vinyl copies and, just as importantly, newer followers of honky tonk, who are less familiar with one of the greatest exponents of the genre, will find this to be an excellent introduction to Gene Watson and his music’.

Al Moir
Country Music People
November 2008