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In a Perfect World

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Album Review

After recording several hits in the '70s and '80s for Capitol and MCA, traditional country vocalist Gene Watson, along with many of his influences like Merle Haggard and George Jones, started to disappear from the country charts as radio programmers began dictating trends and touting them as the "real thing." To his credit, Watson stuck to his guns; he continued to record throughout the '90s, putting out several gospel discs and seeing his early albums being reissued. On his first release for the Shanachie label, In a Perfect World, Watson carries on in the hard country tradition with a combination of hand-picked tunes and complementary vocal assistance from friends Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Mark Chesnutt, Connie Smith, and Rhonda Vincent. Seven of the 11 tracks are new compositions, written mainly by songwriter Tim Mensy, while the rest are tried and true favorites, "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me," "Let Me Be the First to Go," "Today I Started Loving You Again," and "Together Again." In a Perfect World once again finds Gene Watson sticking to his guns and maintaining command of his roots.


Born: October 11, 1943 in Palestine, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though he can sing honky tonk, Gene Watson built a reputation for soulful ballads in the classic country tradition. Born one of seven children in Palestine, Texas, Watson married early and was working as an auto-body man when he began frequenting the clubs in Houston. He recorded for a few small-time regional labels like Wide World and Stoneway during the early '70s. Watson finally had success in 1974, when a steamy single for Resco -- "Love in the Hot Afternoon" -- was picked up for national distribution...
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In a Perfect World, Gene Watson
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