DALE WATSON & THE TEXAS TWO – THE SUN SESSIONS

Dale Watson, at least to me, is known as someone who can take me back in time with music. Forsaking the modern trappings of even the Red Dirt scene he puts out music with the Lonestars that is pure honky tonk and completely timeless. It is perfect music in that it would sound at home at a dance hall in Gruene or a biker bar in Baytown. I would easily call him the king of honky tonk and never bat an eye. So what does he have in store for us on his latest release? A completely different sound of course. You see he took a little trip to Memphis to get a little of that Sun sound and I’ll be damned if he didn’t pull it off!

Don’t expect any crying fiddles or haunting pedal steel on this one kids, this thing is stripped down to Dale’s picking, doghouse bass provided by Chris Crepps and snare by Mike Bernal. What stays the same is Dale’s voice, a voice which any man could envy, and his storytelling. This is fourteen tracks of goodness without a bad one in the bunch. Whether he’s ripping out your heart, belting out a road tune or crooning some gospel Dale’s words and voice will make you forget that it’s 2011 and transport you back to 1963. You can close your eyes and easily see Johnny Cash and Dale penning some of these songs. It’s just that timeless. In fact the whole album feels like a hat tip to the man in black. Even the band name “The Texas Two” is nod to Johnny’s band “The Tennessee Two”. The real jewel is that as much as it feels like a Johnny Cash album, which I have to think was intentional, is that in spite of all of the obvious Johnny Cash influence it is still a completely original album. You can’t escape the similar picking style or Dale’s baritone and that might turn some people off but those people are hipsters or snobs and I choose to ignore them. This is nothing less than Essential Listening.

Dale Watson & The Texas Two – Johnny At The Door
Dale Watson & The Texas Two – The Hand Of Jesus
Dale Watson & The Texas Two – Ponder Why, I Ponder Why

Dale Watson’s Official Site, Dale Watson on Facebook, Stream The Sun Sessions on Spotify, Buy The Sun Sessions

TOP FIVE: TRUCKIN' SONGS

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I gave AIV the train song idea and ended up not being to get my shit together and my head above water at work to do the post and I was a little disappointed by that. So I decided that this week I’d drop another classic country and western song genre on you guys and write the post before I told AIV the idea so I would get to post this time. This week is Truckin’ Songs. My daddy was a trucker when I was born and somewhere there is a picture of me knee high to him standing beside his rig. I came up listening to Jerry Reed and watching Smokey and the Bandit so I guess I have a romanticized view of the OTR trucker. I know some of the truckin’ songs out there are a little bit cheesy but I love the genre so it’s this week’s Top 5. I hope some of you are also fans of truckin’ songs. Here’s my five, can’t wait to see yours…

Diana William’s – Teddy Bear’s Last Ride | Maybe the saddest truckin’ song in existence
C. W. McCall – Convoy | My first thought when it comes to truckin’ songs and what defined the genre for me
Jerry Reed – Caffeine, Nictotine, Benzedrine (and Wish Me Luck) | Jerry Reed did the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack but this is so much better a song than Eastbound and Down
Dale Watson – Truckin’ Man | Much like Jerry Reed no truckin’ song list would be complete with Dale and this is a great track
Jason Boland and the Stragglers – Truckstop Diaries | While not technically a song about driving trucks I think this one counts

So there’s my list, let’s see yours. I do fully expect to see Alabama in someone’s list…
(Cover picture by SoulRider.222.)

AIV SAYS:

Jerry Reed – Eastbound and Down: RSV can go deep cuts…I’m playing the obvious. I also wanna take this opportunity to say, if you’re not watching Eastbound and Down on HBO then you’re seriously fucking up.

Drive-By Truckers – 18 Wheels Of Love (Live from Austin City Limits): One could argue that this is a love song and not a trucker song….and one could suck my fucking dick too.

Scott H. Biram: These really were the first 3 songs that popped into my vacant little head.

Scott H. Biram – 18 Wheeler Fever
Scott H. Biram – Reefer Load
Scott H. Biram – Truckdriver

WAYNE "THE TRAIN" HANCOCK – VIPER OF MELODY

I figured there would be no better segue from Dale Watson than the new Wayne “the train” Hancock album. Now, to be honest, most of my Hancock knowledge has been gleaned from the Hank III fan base and up until Viper of Melody I’d never owned any of his cds. That’s due to change.

Much like Watson, Wayne makes no effort to intermingle genres, he just pens Texas juke-joint country swing music and he does a damned good job of it.

Now sometimes with ninebullets I find myself feeling the need to put more words in a post. More description. More back story. Sometimes though, in hindsight, I feel as if I muddied the waters more than anything and I *will not* do that to this album. I’m gonna post three songs and they’ll describe and define this album better than words ever could. So, check out this ex-Marine outta Austin, Texas.

Readers: What album should I buy next?

Wayne Hancock – Jump Blues
Wayne Hancock – Throwin’ Away My Money
Wayne Hancock – Working at Working

Wayne Hancock’s Official Site, Wayne Hancock on myspace, Buy Viper of Melody

EDIT: Turns out today in Wayne’s birthday. Happy Birthday!

DALE WATSON – THE TRUCKIN' SESSIONS VOLUME 2

In this music era of microblogging, soundbites, hyper-hyphenation and genre interloping, Dale Watson may as well be a god damned Norman Rockwell painting. Dale Watson makes country music the way your grandparents did, and there ain’t a single drop of irony in it, either.

As the album title suggests, The Truckin’ Sessions Vol. 2 is a follow-up to his 1998 release, The Truckin’ Sessions. The overall feel/sound of the album would lead you to believe that these are obscure 60’s trucking songs that Watson has unearthed and reworked, but the truth is all 14 tracks are freshly penned products. Redd Volkaert (guitar), Don Pawlak (pedal steel), Don Raby (fiddle), Gene Kurtz (bass) and David Bowen (drums) accompany Dale on the album and are as tight as a trucker’s ass coming down an icy road in the Rockies.

One thing that really stands out about this album is its straight ahead simplicity. There is no effort to create a new sound, just make theirs the best as they can, and the result is nothing less than Essential Listening.

I defy you to not tap your feet and smile while listening to this cd. If there was an award for “Most Fun CD of the Year”, The Truckin’ Sessions Vol. 2 would currently have my vote.

Dale Watson – Jack’s Truckstop & Cafe
Dale Watson – Hey Driver
Dale Watson – Truckin’ Queen

Dale Watson’s Official Site, Dale Watson on myspace, Buy The Truckin’ Sessions Vol. 2