Dale Watson

Dale Watson
Dale Watson
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“Too country for country” was infamously said by a Nashville record executive when he turned Johnnie Cash down for a recording contract in the 80’s. That same phrase pretty much describes Dale Watson’s welcome in Nashville. As far as he’s concerned, he’s in damn good company. The poster graphic on his website pretty much sums up his attitude about the current crop of popular country musicians: “today’s candy assed country music.” Judging by Watson’s tour bus, there are a lot of fans in agreement. Last Sunday evening, the Austin-based champion of old school country brought his show to the Bottom’s Canal Club.

 

Watson is no stranger to Richmond. He was a regular at the now closed Shenanigan’s and was featured at 2008’s Richmond Folk Festival, where he had the Times Dispatch dance stage packed for each performance. The Canal Club, RVA’s venerable midsize venue, was the perfect place for Watson and his band. The club is pretty basic (unlike similar-sized The Braodberry) and very much a bar on steroids. Watson and his band, The Lone Stars, are really a bar band too – but, as Brad Spivey of opening act The Honky Tonk Experience said that night, “elevated to a whole ‘nuther level.”

 

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Watson really connected with his audience of about 200, just as if he’d been playing in a bar for 30 people. The audience shouted out song requests and sent drinks to the stage for the whole band. You could tell Watson was truly in his element – a requirement when you play as often as he does. Every few songs he’d hoist up a Lone Star beer and toast the crowd, as well as the old school country legends he’s built his songbook around. He knows what Richmond relates to, at one point holding up a PBR and explaining, “It’s really just a Lone Star in a more colorful dress.”

 

A note to local music promoters: this Sunday show started at 6 p.m. and was over by 9. It drew a fine crowd and gave everybody a chance to have a good time and still make it to work on time the next day.

 

A special shout out to all who supported “Bring Foo Fighters Back to RVA” and campaign organizer Andrew Goldin. It reached its goal of $70,000 (1,400 tickets)! And the Foos are apparently on board tweeting, “well, well, well…@foofighters_rva@rvadonuts@browns_vdubs@Crowdtilt See ya soon…let’s have a good time.#RVA “. I got my ticket, I hope you got yours.

 

Watch Dale have fun with the audience & the band (2:08)

 

Watch Video

 

PHOTOS BY STAUNTON I. COTTRELL

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