The fact that Austin honky-tonker Dale Watson is protesting Koch's release of this album only attests to his workmanship. The Little Darlin' Sessions' sole problem lies in its antiseptic sound. According to Watson, these Sessions are a collection of unfinished roughs, but the truth is his voice never sounded better, and the musicianship is top-notch, particularly the pedal steel of legend Lloyd Green. Covering the Little Darlin' recordings of label co-owners Johnny Paycheck and producer Aubrey Mayhew, who also produced this album, Watson commands the downtrodden opener "Touch My Heart," the two-step "Jukebox Charlie," and the classic "He Thought He'd Die Laughing," as well as the remaining 12 tracks. It's all country-my-ass attitude -- drinkin', lovin', and fightin' -- just like we love it. On www.dalewatson.com, the man himself portrays the results as him singing karaoke, but if this is his version of karaoke, we'd pay to see it any day.
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