Watson is the real thing, possibly the new saviour of country, a Honky Tonker who carries on from Bob Wills, Buck and Merle and for my money is the truck drivin' musical cousin of Dwight. If you saw the doco, Naked Nashville featuring Dale on ABC TV a while back you'll be full of admiration.
After an epic battle with Satan during a psychosis triggered by his girlfriend's death in 2002 Dale was hospitalized. Following this and therapy he took up a Courier Drivers job intending to chuck music away to focus on caring for his daughters. After 6 months of driving and living in Baltimore with his kids, friends convinced him that his talent was far too important to ignore. Then Continental Airlines, which sponsors Blue Harbour, a Mental Health awareness and research organisation, sprung Dale regular tickets for flights between his family in Baltimore and his music in Austin Tx in return for promotional performances.
Dale has finished a movie doco on his crazy episode and a tour directed by Zalman King called Crazy Again
From a Real Country Music interview:
E.B. - I've seen you live twice; we could ask you to sing almost any song of country music and you knew the words.
Dale Watson: - Well, that’s country. That’s what I meant before - Honky Tonk. I know what the crowd wants to listen to. I like to be a part of the crowd. I want also to be able to sing the songs that everybody loves, especially George Jones; I wanna do this. It’s making friends along the way. You share music with the audience and if they want to listen to some songs that are not mine - Merle, Conway, Jones, Cash - why should I say no? I enjoy it too. But I’m not going to play any Tim McGraw or anything like that, that’s for sure. It happened to me [one] time. And what I said was “Man, you are in the wrong place tonight; you better ask [for your] money back” (laughs). That was also the reason why I haven’t been able to be a songwriter in Nashville, because they wanted me to write songs that a teenager in the city would like to listen to. I have no idea how to do that; I don’t know what a teenager in the city likes and I don’t want to do that anyway.
Willie says: “I’m one of Dale’s biggest fans”
Do yourself a favour.
I found the photo curtesy of Honky Tonk Highway blog - read it.