Dale Watson - From the Cradle to the Grave
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From the Cradle to the Grave (Hyena, 2007)

Dale Watson

Reviewed by Ken Burke

The always prolific, occasionally profound Dale Watson imbues his latest collection of hook-song tragedies and twangy traditional sounds with atmospheric dabs of Mexican horns and a sense of southern folk righteousness.

Recorded primarily at actor Johnny Knoxville's cabin once used by Johnny Cash, the 10-song set features the troubadour's characteristic nods to Merle Haggard ("Hollywood Hillbilly") and Cash ("Justice for All"). This time around, Watson - at his vocal best here - also embraces Conway Twitty's romantic baritone ("It's Not Over Now"), Waylon Jennings' sense of moral authority ("Yellow Mama") and a bit of Roy Orbison's bolero-tempo'd dramatics ("It's Not Over Now"). In between the fatalistic confessionals ("Tomorrow Never Comes") and pleas for personal integrity ("Why Oh Why Live a Lie") are revealing glimpses of hard won wisdom ("You Always Got What You've Got") and karmic jingles ("Runaway Train") that tout Watson's inner wild child.

Although many of his songs lean toward the enigmatic - where is all this guilt and heartache coming from - the themes of personal angst, honor and redemption are what makes Watson's brand of country such a gratifying experience.


CDs by Dale Watson

Call Me Lucky, 2019 Under the Influence, 2016 Live At The Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday, 2016 Call Me Insane, 2015 Truckin' Sessions Trilogy, 2014 Dale Watson and the Texas Two - The Sun Sessions, 2011 Carryin' On, 2010 The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two, 2009 Little Darlin' Sessions, 2007 From the Cradle to the Grave, 2007 Whiskey or God, 2006


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