Flyinshoes Review

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Country traditionalist, Austin, Tx honky tonk ace Dale Watson and his Lonestars; Don Pawlak (pedal steel), Mike Bernal (drums) and Chris Crepps (upright bass) shoot straight from the hip. Honest old country —as in the music of Haggard, Cash, a little Bob Wills swing and Lefty Frizzell among others pump through the veins of Dale Watson and always will. Such is his commitment to the cause.  


All 14 songs are penned by Watson. Who writes songs at will. He not only wrote but recorded one on his recent visit. As for the material he opens with crowd-pleaser ‘Lie When I Drink’ (and I drink a lot…says the song) followed by the clever worded ‘I Drink To Remember’ (while she drinks to forget in two separate barrooms). Then with a fabulous piece of fiddle (from special guest Danny Levin; he also plays piano on the track) and steel guitar work Dale speaks of ‘We’re Gonna Get Married’. That leads us on nicely to the Haggard-ish ‘The Daughter’s Wedding Song’. Steeped in pedal steel and a small spoken segment it has the great man written all over it. No bad thing, either.


Watson loves to see people dance to his music hence he performs ‘Quick Quick Slow Slow’ with gusto and affection. As he likewise performs ‘Slow Quick Quick’ that immediately follows in the running order, more than likely for those who regularly frequent his gigs back home. On upping the tempo and bringing a dash of swing ‘Give Me More Kisses’ is very much a nod to Lefty Frizzell spruced up with additional rockabilly. ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ is another of those quickly thrown together barroom, beer drinking odes, while ‘I Hate To Drink Alone’ contains a little of ol’ Waylon (Jennings) backbeat, featuring some neat fiddle and steel guitar he speaks of being a walking contradiction. A great sound, country music was it was and still should be.


On the home straight Watson delivers more of the same (some could claim some of his songs do sound alike but that would be splitting hairs !), the lilting steel warmed ‘I Hate To Drink Alone’ is very much 1950s country. Good it is too. While to close he hits another home run via ‘Thanks To Tequila’. A great cue for someone to get Dale and the boys one when playing live; as I have already witnessed and it didn’t stop at one either! Now for the wait till his next album and knowing Dale and the boys like we do we won't have to wait too long.


                                                            Maurice Hope 

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November 2017

JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Ear Music
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
Thomm Jutz
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Crazy If You Let It
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Kris Delmhorst
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The Wild
Blue Blade Records
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Jeremy Pinnell
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Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
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14 pts.
Better than Alone
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David Rawlings
14 pts.
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Acony Records
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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