7. May 2014 By Walter Price 0


Willie Watson (Photo: Facebook)

By Walter Price

So there I was earlier today listening to the new Willie Watson album Folk Singer Vol 1 and I went off on a meandering mental tangent. Thinking, about all the great artists with the surname Watson.

So for no other reason but to calm my wondering mind, here are some of the best artists with the name Watson in the country, folk and traditional genres.

Go on, this is interesting stuff here.

(In no particular order)

Gene Watson (Palestine, TX)

Charting over 70 times with 23 top 10’s and 6 #1’s, Gene stayed on the right side of the line between authentic country music and pop flavored ‘country’ that was starting to creep into Nashville in the late 70’s and a phenomenon that completely suffocated traditional country music in the 1980’s. Creating a foe-country sound we can still hear today. Gene never wavered and is still keeping the sounds real to this day…
“I didn’t want to be a superstar. I always said stars were good to look at but impossible to touch. I’m with real people.” – Gene Watson
Links: Website. Facebook.

Willie Watson (Watkins Glen, NY)

Formerly of the killer string band revivalists Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Watson is out on his own with a collection of traditional and sometimes rare folk tunes with his newly released Folk Singer Vol. 1. And he pretty much kills with his interpretations of “Rock Salt and Nails”, “Midnight Special” and “Keep It Clean”.

“I just found that I was happier singing these old songs, and it was more fun. And at the shows, they were going over a lot better than the stuff I was trying to write. It was just like, “The pressure’s off. …Let’s just go into the studio and sing these old songs.” – Willie Watson (Nashville Cream)
Links: Website. Facebook.

Arthel “Doc” Watson (Deep Gap, NC) 1923 – 2012

A true finger-pickin’ troubadour in every aspect. Folk, gospel, bluegrass, blues and country genres found spots in Doc’s impressive repertoire. You’ll find his influence in artists from Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush to Old Crow Medicine Show (Legend has it Doc discovered OCMS playing outside a pharmacy in North Carolina). Long live Doc Watson’s legacy! 

“Intimacy comes from being yourself on the stage and making the audience feel, without trying, that you’re sittin’ down there with ’em, playing, and that can happen in a big hall, if you have a good audience that want to listen.” – Doc Watson
Links: Biography


Patrick Watson

You know what happens when you stylistically run the musical gamut? Sure, you get compared to everyone from Nick Drake to Jeff Buckley. Not bad but does little to the actual coolness your standalone voice carries or does it. Some say a master of reinvention, I say master of exploration…Let the people decide! 

“I like to get people out of their roles. I don’t like roles. It’s tough for people to drop their defences – because they see so many concerts, it’s tough for people in big cities to just let themselves go.” – Patrick Watson
Links: Website./ Facebook

Aaron Watson (Amarillo, TX)

The “Honky Tonk Kid” is doing his best to keep country music grounded in tradition à la George Jones and Alan Jackson. Aaron is the Texas indie-music superstar whose love of God, family and country makes him the go-to artist when you want and need to scoot-a boot. Dig It! 

“Country Music has sold out on class and integrity.  Seems that every song is just some shallow party anthem about cheap love and getting drunk.  There are too many singers and not enough songwriters taking pride in the quality of song.” – Aaron Watson

Dale Watson (Birmingham, AL) 

Austin based singer- songwriter, author, activist and an authentic honky-tonkin’ Lone Star lone-wolf who discovered long ago there is something wrong with the Nashville machine. Has made a point on doing it his way or not at all. He is internationally known to country up a microphone and has garnered critical praise and a die-hard fan-base across almost every-land. Sing us some more truckin’ songs Dale!

“I don’t have to have number one records or million selling albums. This is what I do. When I start doing shows and nobody comes, or no one buys my records, then I will end up doing something else. But I’d never stop playing music. I’d do it for free and do something else to make a living.” – Dale Watson
Links: Website. MySpace.
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