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Dale Watson (born October 7, 1962 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American alternative country/Texas Country singer, guitarist, songwriter, and self-published author based in Austin, Texas.
He is championed "Ameripolitan" as a new genre of original music and
positioned himself as a tattooed, stubbornly independent outsider who is
interested in recording authentic country music. As a result, his
record sales have been slow, but he has become a favorite of critics and
Watson grew up in poverty outside of Pasadena,
Texas as one of four boys. Watson's father (whom he is named after) and
brother, Jim were both musically inclined and guided what have become
his longstanding musical influences. Watson began writing his own songs
at age 12, making his first recording two years later. Soon after,
Watson became an emancipated minor. By day he went to school and by
night he played local Houston clubs and Honky Tonks with Jim in an
aggregation called the Classic Country Bandin.
He moved to Los
Angeles in 1988 on the advice of Rosie Flores and soon joined the house
band at North Hollywood's now-legendary alt-country venue the Palomino
Club. He recorded two singles for Curb in 1990, "One Tear at a Time" and
"You Pour It On," and appeared on the third volume of the compilation
series, A Town South of Bakersfield, in 1992. Not long after, he
moved to Nashville and spent some time writing songs for the Gary Morris
publishing company where his first daughter was born.
relocated to Austin, TX, where he formed a backing band called the Lone
Stars. He scored a deal with Hightone and released his debut album, Cheatin' Heart Attack,
in 1995. It was greeted with enormous acclaim for the vitality Watson
brought to his vintage-style material and performances and also featured
a dig at mainstream country in "Nashville Rash." Follow-up Blessed or
Damned appeared in 1996 and continued in a similar vein, as did 1997's I
Hate These Songs. His next release, The Truckin' Sessions, appeared on
Koch in 1998 and was devoted entirely to that distinct country subgenre
of truck-driving songs. Soon after, his second daughter was born.