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Dale Watson Biography
He’s spent the past two decades proving there are still powerful tales to be told from the honky-tonk pulpit, and he's brought that message to the faithful. — THE NASHVILLE SCENE
Dale Watson is a country music maverick, a true outlaw carrying on where Waylon Jennings left off. A member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, he stands alongside Waylon, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.
Although Dale has made his name as a Texas artist, he actually was born in Alabama. Moving to Houston as a teenager, his musical journey began right out of high school as he started playing clubs and local honky-tonks. In 1988, it led him to move to Los Angeles on the advice of rockabilly singer-guitarist Rosie Flores. He played in the house band at the legendaryPalomino Club in Hollywood for a couple years and recorded a few singles before moving to Nashville to write songs for a publishing company run by Gary Morris (writer of such country/pop hits as “The Wind Beneath My Wings”). Commercial country did not fit the fiercely independent songwriter so Dale relocated to Austin, Texas where he got a record deal and wrote several songs poking fun at the industry side of Nashville, including “Nashville Rash” from his Hightone debut Cheatin’ Heart Attack and “A Real Country Song” from his 1996 follow-up Blessed or Damned.
After making three albums with Hightone, Dale released The Trucking Sessions on Koch Records in 1998. Including 14 original driving songs, the album received high praise and caused critics to compare him to chart-topping writer Red Simpson, who was responsible for some of the most iconic trucking tunes in country music.
Just two years after this success, Dale’s fiancee died in a car accident. As chronicled in theZalman King documentary Crazy Again (2006), he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with her loss and nearly died of an overdose. Dale then checked himself into a mental institution and left a year later, releasing his tribute album to her called Every Song I Write Is For You(2001). After recording a few more albums, he decided to take a break from touring and moved to Maryland to be closer to his daughters.
Back in Texas and on the road in 2006, Dale has been trucking ever since and is now releasing his 20th album. His debut on indie label Red House Records, The Sun Sessions was recorded at Memphis’ legendary Sun Studios with The Texas Two (bassist Chris Crepps and drummer Mike Bernal) in the stripped-down style of Johnny Cash’s earliest recordings.
Like the early country legends of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dale has a style and sound all his own. Tattooed and always dressed to the nines, he is a true entertainer, mixing humor and pathos into his lively shows. Whether playing with his Texas Two or with his rocking band the Lone Stars, Dale is sure to take us on one hell of a musical ride.