MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COUNTRY
Fourteen Carat Music FCM0002 ………
Country veteran keeping on doing it well
As old-school country singers go. Gene Watson is right up there with the best. He’s classic country through and through, the sort they don’t make any more. No Nashville slickness, no rhinestones, no auto-tune, no alt. or outlaw or whatever, just essence of country. On his latest album he’s picked his songs well. From Johnny Paycheck’s Slide Off Your Satin Sheets, the classic Long Black Veil, Merle Haggard’s I Forget You Everyday and Johnny Cochran’s Make The World Go Away, all these and more are given the Watson treatment. Straight arrangements, steel and fiddle (but not too much) and that voice; deep, rich and resonant.
Of course everything here has been recorded many times before by many people and there’s nothing cutting-edge or even particularly contemporary going on. In addition, Watson’s singing does, inevitably, sound dated in a world where Faith Hill, Alan Jackson and Taylor Swift rule. But sometimes ‘more ofthe same’ is all you need. Watson’s still got it and he’s keeping the faith, picking good songs and singing them well, and doing a pretty fair job of it to boot. You can’t askfor more than that. Jeremy Searle