Dale Watson - Under the Influence - A staunch adherent of old-style honky tonk and Bakersfield country, Dale Watson has positioned himself as a tattooed, stubbornly independent outsider only interested in recording authentic country music. As a result, he hasn't become a major star, but his music has been championed by numerous critics and has earned him a fervently loyal fan base. Watson was born in Alabama in 1962 but spent his teenage years near Houston, and he grew to think of Texas as his true home state. His father and brother were both musically inclined, and he began writing his own songs at age 12, making his first recording two years later.
After graduating from high school, he spent seven years playing local clubs and honky tonks. 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. Watson didn't find commercial country much to his taste, and he relocated to the more progressive-minded scene in Austin, Texas, where he formed a backing band called the Lone Stars. He scored a deal with Hightone Records 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 witty dig at