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Gene Watson has been singing professionally since the late 1950s & has been a country music (album) recording artist since the late 1960s.
Gene Watson steps into a recording studio and, like a great chef, uses the perfect ingredients to create an aural feast. When Gene Watson takes a step behind the microphone, magic happens.
Gene Watson's contribution to the country music genre is immeasurable and it is here that you have an opportunity to read reviews of Gene Watson's albums, as published in Country Music People.
Country Music People is the United Kingdom's No. 1 Award Winning Country Music Magazine, and was the recipient of the Country Music Association's 2003 Wesley Rose International Achievement Award.
Country Music People was first published in 1970 and protects its integrity fiercely. The magazine has always brought its readers detailed, honest record reviews untainted by advertising considerations, as well as genuine interviews with country stars that are not faked from interview discs sent out by publicists and record labels.
Country Music People have long ago nailed its colours to the mast where Gene Watson is concerned. The magazine has rigorously championed Gene's cause down through the years and have published a number of reviews of his album releases.
All reviews have been reproduced with the kind permission of Country Music People.
This CMP review by Craig Baguley, which was published in the January 1997 issue of Country Music People, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.
Album Review by Craig Baguley
(9 out of 10)
'Gene Watson's second album for Step One proves yet again that the wider country music world is missing out on one of the greatest artists of the genre. On one hand, I'd love to see the impossible happen with Watson on a major label and back high in the charts; on the other, I've always loved Ray Pennington's productions, and this blend of straight country and fine western swing is no exception.
What also impresses me about Pennington is his ability as a songwriter. Of course, the fact that so many Pennington compositions appear on Step One recordings has not a little to do with the fact that he's head man at the label. With other producers, this would customarily lead to mundanity, but not so with Ray. He's one of the good ol' boys from way back who knows what a country song's all about, and when his writing is combined with the artistry of a singer like Gene Watson, magic happens.
Take the three swing numbers, 'The Good Ole Days Are Right Now', 'You Pushed Me To The Limit' and 'Where I'm Concerned' - excellent band arrangements and spot-on vocals from Gene make for an irresistible formula. I suspect the musicians had a ball, too, particularly Buddy Emmons on steel, because western swing of this calibre is being cut nowhere else in Nashville these days.
On ballads, too, Watson is a killer, up there with Jones and Gosdin, and his vocal attack on 'Change Her Mind' proves he's still in magnificent form. As a bonus for yours truly, he's also re-cut probably my favourite Gene Watson track ever, the inimitable Joe Allen ballad, 'I Don't Need A Thing At All', though memory suggests his original cut had the slight edge.
Gene's also re-recorded his big hits from 1975 and 1982 respectively, the steamy 'Love In The Hot Afternoon' (together now, in your best low voice, 'Filet, Gumbo') and 'Speak Softly (You're Talking To My Heart)', though I would have preferred two more originals rather than a replay of these so-well-known tunes.
It's good to see the name of Tommy Collins up there in the co-writer credits on 'The Man That Broke Your Heart', a mid-tempo mover about a guy thankful to the title's protagonist for walking out on his lady so he could walk in ('if I met him, what the heck, well, I'd hug his old red neck').
If only we could have a new Gene Watson album every six months...'
Country Music People