The Man, The Myth, The Legend

I’m guilty of repeating myself, but so be it. The Austin Music Minute makes no bones about it:  Dale Watson is someone you need to add to your short list of must-see performers. And if you haven’t had the chance to see him, you owe it to yourself to check him out.

A musician of the highest caliber, Watson is keeping the sound of traditional roots and country alive and well by sharing it with new fans. I still cringe whenever reviewers attempt to pin a series of labels on Watson, as they struggle (for whatever reason, which continues to mystify me) to define his style. There’s nothing to really figure out here. On one occasion during an interview, perhaps tongue firmly in cheek, Watson even made up a term, Ameripolitan, essentially describing what he plays as “original music with ‘a prominent’ roots influence.” But the bottom line?  Get rid of all your preconceived notions. His style is no mere tribute to the classics, riding on the retro-laurels as others seem to do for the kitsch factor. Watson and his music are the real deal.

Country music has been a significant part of his life ever since he was a kid. Born in Alabama, but raised in Houston, Watson learned a lot from his dad, who worked as a trucker but moonlighted as a country singer, and his older brothers who played in bands as well. After getting his first guitar at age 7, the songwriting just happened naturally. It’s what he knew. He was playing honky-tonks by the time he was a teenager, feeling more connected to artists like Buck Owens and Hanks Williams than most of the rock bands his peers were into.

Watson continues embrace the classics while bringing the music to newer (and younger) audiences to keep the sound alive. Do yourself a favor and see Dale Watson play tonight at The Continental Club, 1315  S. Congress Ave. He plays at 10 p.m. Hats off to you, sir. Recommended.


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