Dale Watson

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

Dale Watson

Dreamland (Koch) When you Google "hardcore honky-tonk," the first hits oughtta be Dale Watson. Throughout his career, Austin's true-blue country troubadour has slugged it out in bars, concert halls, and of course honky-tonks worldwide. Dreamland is already Watson's seventh full-length, and all that heavy traveling and hard work shines. This is Watson in his prime. With Ray Benson as producer, the disc features a slew of Asleep at the Wheel pals – Jason Roberts, Dave Sanger, Cindy Cashdollar, and Floyd Domino – as well as Watson's band and buddies like Redd Volkaert and Ralph Mooney. As you'd expect, there's superpicking and impeccable country grooves throughout. It's been a while since Watson cut an album like this; a sentimental tribute to his late fiancée and a live collection recorded in London constitute two of his last three albums. In many ways, Dreamland is a return to the form of his earlier work. There's plenty of playful wordplay on tunes like "Ain't a Cow in Texas" and "Way Down Texas Way," a tip of the hat to Tom T. Hall on "Fox on the Run," and even a stab at bluegrass with a swinging edge, "Pretty Girls." Watson continues to keep the glow of trad country burning, singing with extraordinary confidence and writing songs both powerful and passionate.

***.5 

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Dale Watson, Ray Benson

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