Austin Honky-Tonk legend Dale Watson has released new track ‘David Buxkemper’, taken from his new album ‘Call Me Lucky’ out February 15 on Red House Records.
The song was inspired by a letter from real-life fan David Buxkemper, who wrote that he especially enjoyed Watson’s albums about truck-driving. Watson was so charmed by the folksy letter that he asked for more details about the farmer’s day-to-day life, with the reply distilled into this charming song. In the studio, longtime band member Don Pawlak ran his steel guitar through a Leslie keyboard, giving the down-to-earth storyline a space-age musical twist.
Listen/share ‘David Buxkemper’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGYeOHaAlSA
Recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis, ‘Call Me Lucky’ features some of Memphis’ finest musicians as well as Dale’s longtime band, The Lone Stars, and includes a horn section on several tracks.
Lead single ‘The Dumb Song’ features W.S.Holland – Carl Perkins’ original drummer and Johnny Cash’s only drummer – on drums, and shouting out a “YES!!” at its conclusion.
Watson began 2019 as a featured artist on the sold-out Outlaw Country Cruise joining Margo Price, Lucinda Williams and others. He’s currently gearing up for the Sixth Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards in Memphis later this month. Founded and operated by Watson, the ambitious event celebrates touring roots artists who write their own music – a winning formula that Watson has embodied for more than 30 years.
An iconic fixture of the Austin, Texas, music scene for 30 years, Watson recorded all but one song on ‘Call Me Lucky’ at Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis. In early 2018, he bought a house there and now divides his downtime equally between Texas and Tennessee. He also sold the bars he owned in Texas and purchased the fabled Memphis nightclub Hernando’s Hideaway in an effort to provide a hospitable place for touring musicians to perform.
“Memphis is an amazing city,” he says. “It reminds me of Austin back in the ‘80s but it’s got more roots than any town I’ve ever been to, especially the musical roots. And the people that were there then, a lot of them are still there now.”
Throughout ‘Call Me Lucky’, Watson’s songwriting is so descriptive that you can almost see him cruising into Memphis as he sings “Tupelo Mississippi and a ‘57 Fairlane,” a throwback tune backed by a Memphis-style horn section. Meanwhile, a Hank Williams influence seeps into “Haul Off and Do It,” which is already a favourite in Watson’s live shows. And like the music from his musical heroes, many of the new songs clock in at roughly three minutes long – sometimes less.
“I’ve always been a fan of keeping songs short,” Watson confirms. “Long ago, I went to a library and checked out Tom T. Hall’s How I Write Songs. And in there, he said it’s not about keeping the songs short, it’s keeping the point. Make your point and get out. That’s always been my way of writing.”
Asked about his knack for wordplay and rhymes, Watson gives credit to a childhood watching variety shows hosted by Johnny Cash and Mac Davis. When he was 10 he started writing songs for a girlfriend who lived across the street. Those early ambitions led him from Houston to Los Angeles, then to Nashville (briefly) and finally to Austin, Texas. He’s released dozens of albums since his auspicious 1995 debut, ‘Cheatin’ Heart Attack’, which helped define the alt-country movement.
“I write a lot. It doesn’t mean I write good songs, but I do write a lot of songs. So I think as with anything, you keep at it and you get better at it. But as for writing just a simple country song, I can accept that I’m good at that,” Watson says. “I’m just really, really grateful to be able to do what I do for a living, for as long as I’ve been doing it.”
In May & June 2019, Watson will head to Europe for an extensive headline tour, UK dates below.
‘CALL ME LUCKY’ TRACKLIST:
1. Call Me Lucky
2. The Dumb Song
3. Johnny And June
4. Tupelo Mississippi And A ’57 Fairlane
5. Haul Off And Do It
7. David Buxkemper
8. Inside View
9. You Weren’t Supposed To Feel This Good
10. Mama’s Smile
11. Who Needs This Man
Pre-Order the album: https://lnk.to/call-me-luckyID
UK HEADLINE TOUR:
May 29 London, The Jazz Café
May 30 Oxford, The Bullingdon
May 31 Suffolk, Red Rooster Festival
June 1 Newcastle, The Cluny
June 2 Liverpool, Netherley Sports & Social
June 3 Glasgow, Saint Lukes
June 4 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
June 5 Sheffield, The Greystones
June 6 Bristol, Exchange