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Gene Watson's peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers who were contacted during 2006 were most gracious with their time and words. It is here, within this special part of the Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Al Perkins, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 3 August 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Al Perkins, who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Thursday 3 August 2006.
'I don't really know a lot about Gene Watson. I hear good things about him and his traditional style.
I did hear him briefly at a festival in Holland a couple of years back when I was there with Chris Hillman. Gene's whole band sounded good at the time'.
Thank you, Al Perkins, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Al Perkins...
Al Perkins, a legend of popular music, was born and raised in Texas and learned to play Hawaiian steel guitar at the age of nine. Playing in west Texas bands throughout the 1960s, it wasn't until his release from the US Army Reserves in the early 1970s that his musical career took off with California country rockers Shiloh.
Al found himself hired to play in the new incarnation of The Flying Burrito Brothers and recorded the seminal live album 'The Last of the Red Hot Burritos' in 1972. The band split up, and Perkins along with former Byrd Chris Hillman joined Manassas. Led by Stephen Stills, they were one of the most talented units in music at the time and were equally at home with Latin jams, rock, blues, country, folk and bluegrass.
With the release of a second album, Stills was drawn more towards his work with Crosby Stills and Nash, so Al Perkins and Chris Hillman found themselves joining up with Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco founding member) and J.D. Souther in the Souther Hillman Furay band. Al moved into producing records in the mid 1970s, but did tour with Michael Nesmith and McGuinn and Hillman.
Al Perkins managed to also continue working as a session player and found himself contributing to many of the notable albums of the time, including the Eagles' ‘On The Border’ album. Al continued his production work into the 1980s.
Al Perkins also toured with Chris Hillman as a duo which later developed into the Desert Rose Band, before joining Dolly Parton in 1986, touring and recording with her for several years before moving to Nashville.
In 1987, Al Perkins played steel guitar on the tracks 'Several Hearts', 'Cheap Motels', 'If You Count Goodbye' and 'Comin' Back', all of which were included on Bobby Durham's debut album 'Where I Grew Up' (Hightone Records USA/Demon Records UK, 1987) in 1987.
It was while Al Perkins was in Nashville that he reunited with Emmylou Harris on a new project, The Nash Ramblers. Al had previously worked with Emmylou and played on the two solo albums of the late, great Gram Parsons (Tuesday 5 November 1946 - Wednesday 19 September 1973).
For the ‘Live At The Ryman’ album, Emmylou Harris and her band, obviously inspired by the history of the famous auditorium, responded by putting together a stunning live set spanning the history of country music. The album won a Grammy Award in 1992.
Al Perkins continues to tour and record and is well known for his work with Kevin Montgomery. He has played and toured with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Cher, Rita Coolidge, Dan Fogelberg (Monday 13 August 1951 - Sunday 16 December 2007) and Dwight Yoakam, and also finds time to appear with his long-time associate Chris Hillman, and with veteran country singer Michael Martin Murphey.
Al Perkins today (2006) is equally at home in the studio adding his timeless pedal steel to albums by artists such as Julie Roberts, as he is adding lap steel to the dynamic live appearances of Kevin Montgomery, or complementing Chris Hillman's traditional bluegrass sound with his signature dobro playing.