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 ‘Reflections & Should I Come Home‘ (Hux Records, 2009) by Duncan Warwick was published in the March 2009 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.
Album Review by Duncan Warwick
CD of the Month
(***** out of 5)
‘Gene Watson has always been nothing less than excellent, and always country.
The hits began in 1975 and Hux Records have been issuing digitally re-mastered two-on-one CDs in chronological order over the last few years.
With a 40+ year career, Gene Watson has long been a big favourite of all at CMP, but sometimes it takes a re-issue like this to remind us just how great he really is, and how influential these early Watson albums have been on artists of the next generation like George Strait and Alan Jackson.
Sounding timeless, the only thing that hints these weren’t recorded last year are the sometimes cheesy Nashville Edition backing vocals on some of the tracks.
Many of these recordings have become classics, most notably, ‘Farewell Party’ and ‘Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)’, which are permanently etched into the consciousness of any country fan (even relatively new ones) and have literally never sounded better.
The other tracks here, which were hit singles are ‘One Sided Conversation’, ‘Pick The Wildwood Flower’, ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’, and the celebration of infatuation (or real love?) of ‘Bedroom Ballad’.
But the tracks that never managed a single release are in the same league, most notably the Bobby Fischer and Sonny Throckmorton penned ‘I Don’t Know How To Tell Her (She Don’t Love Me Anymore)’, with a terrific fiddle arrangement and impeccable heartfelt delivery from Watson, which is surely ripe for a George Strait cover. But then, ‘Bedroom Ballad’, ‘The Heart of A Clown’, ‘I Wonder How It Is In Colorado’ and ‘For The Memories’ shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Like the Charlie Louvin (Thursday 7 July 1927 – Wednesday 26 January 2011) double header (‘Less and Less & I Don’t Love You Anymore / Lonesome is Me‘) released by Hux at the same time, the booklet has some excellent notes written by CMP‘s Jon Philibert, and a great picture of a bequiffed Watson circa the period.
What hits home most of all is that, when these originally came out, in the foolishness of youth, I was buying David Bowie (Wednesday 8 January 1947 – Sunday 10 January 2016) records, when I could have been buying these, but it just goes to make this release even more welcome as a catch-up (or even a replacement for some old vinyl).
Gene Watson is, without doubt, one of the finest interpreters of a country song – George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) famously cited him as his ‘favourite ballad singer’ – and, if you didn’t already know that, here’s the proof.
Country Music People