“We’ve been doing this about 10 years now,” says the last great Texas honky-tonk singer, Dale Watson, over the phone after receiving a shot for a sore throat at a local clinic one sunny Friday afternoon. “We’ve been doing the Christmas show for 15 years, but I got to thinking: ‘Well, there’s nothing really to do on Thanksgiving night.’ You’ve had dinner, you’ve visited with the family, the kids. Most people don’t have to be at work the next morning.
“Why not give ’em something to do?”
Just don’t expect seasonal standards roasting on an open fire.
“I save the Christmas songs for Christmas,” says Watson. “I’m not Wal-Mart. I don’t start celebrating Christmas until Christmas!”
Expect what Dale Watson does best – hard country. Old-school. Scuff marks all over a dance floor. And the two-decades-and-counting local balks at the idea of his being the last of an extinct breed.
“I went for years thinking I was some sort of dinosaur, making this music,” admits Watson. “Since we started the Ameripolitan Awards, it’s now apparent there’s hundreds of artists – all over the world – doing this music. We’re proving this music is still alive.”
What if a standard-bearer of pure country such as he were to write a honky-tonk Thanksgiving song?
“Oh, that’s easy! Thankful for this Lone Star [beer], thankful for this barstool, thankful for this bar, thankful for the jukebox, thankful for the pretty girls that make the night go easier. There’s a lot to be thankful for [laughs].”
Instead of turkey, you serve Wild Turkey.
“That’s a great idea! I think that’ll be a great song! I’ve gotta write this now!”– Tim Stegall