Dale Watson: Call Me Lucky
Dale Watson and His Lone Stars played the Mercury Lounge Tulsa on April 25th, 2019 in support of his new album, Call Me Lucky. The show turned out to be more of a celebration than your traditional gig. Dale and His Lone Stars, Don Pawlak (pedal steel), Mike Bernal (drums), Chris Crepps (upright bass and background vocals), and Miss Celine Lee with the amazing vocals and duets with Dale, drank and toasted with the crowd throughout the entire night. “The Lone Star Beer” bit made an appearance on several occasions during the set. Dale’s ability to connect with his fans onstage made this for an unforgettable and intimate evening in Tulsa’s best dive bar.
Call Me Lucky was released on February 15th, 2019 on Red House Records. The album was recorded in Memphis, TN at the famous Sam Phillips Recordings and was released on Red House/Ameripolitan Records. Watson recorded all but one song on this brilliantly produced twelve song gem of an album. The album also features the legendary drummer W.C. Holland on the track, “The Dumb Song.” Holland, former drummer of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, was brought in to make sure the track had that “vintage sound” of Cash on the recording.
“I’ve always been a fan of keeping songs short,” Watson confirms. “Long ago, I went to a library and checked out Tom T. Hall’s How I Write Songs. And in there, he said it’s not about keeping the songs short, it’s keeping the point. Make your point and get out. That’s always been my way of writing. There are some songs I’ve written that go on a bit more like a story, but I guess it’s probably my ADD that I don’t drag it out too much.” On Call Me Lucky, Watson does just that as every tune on the album comes in well under four minutes each. By no means does that take away from the quality of songwriting and playing on the record, as it is arguably the best album of the entire collection. Call Me Lucky is Dale Watson’s thirty fifth release throughout his legendary career.
Kenneth Dale Watson was born in Birmingham, Alabama on October 7, 1962. His family ended up in Texas in ’77 and is primarily where Dale grew up and identifies as “home.” At the age of twelve, Dale began to write songs and two years later, he was recording them. Dale would take control of his own care by becoming an emancipated minor. He would attend school during the day and play gigs with his brother at night in The Classic Country Band.
In ’88 Watson moved on out to L.A. on the advice of his friend Rosie Flores. Dale played in that house band at the legendary Palomino Club. He would also record his first two singles for Curb Records in ’90 and ’91, “One Tear at a Time” and “You Pour It On and I Pour It Down.” Watson would return to Texas, Austin to be exact and this is where the legend of his “Lone Stars” began. Dale and his backing band would strike a record deal with Hightone and they would release their debut album, Cheatin’ Heart Attack, in ’95. This would be the beginning of the legendary recording career that is Dale Watson and His Lone Stars. Thirty-five albums from ’95 to 2019 and Dale shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
One could write books and short stories pertaining to both the musical and personal life of Dale Watson. Hell, it has already been done and will be done again on down the line. Dale doesn’t proclaim himself as a legend, yet. “The Alabama-born, Texas-raised Watson may be the hardest working entertainer today and is rapidly approaching legendary status.” Now, I don’t know how long ago that shit was written, but to me, Dale is already a legend to those who understand Dale, his music, and what he has accomplished throughout his life and career. Dale is “classic honky tonk” and the king of his own brand, “Ameripolitan” music. In more recent years, Dale has emceed the first ever SXSW “Ameripolitan” showcase featuring the best of Honky-tonk, Outlaw Country, Rockabilly and Texas Swing music. He has been on the Late Show with David Letterman, Austin City Limits and The Sun Sessions. Dale is on the road more than 300 days a year. When he is not on the road, he plays every Sunday at one of two struggling bars he had purchased, one in Austin, the Little Longhorn Saloon (home of Chicken Shit Bingo) and The Big T Roadhouse outside of San Antonio. Dale is classic country music. Dale Watson is a legend.
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