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El Rancho Azul

Dale Watson

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Album Review

If you've heard Dale Watson once or twice in nearly two decades of recording and touring, then you know how you feel about his work. His sound is devoted to hardcore, old-school, honky tonk country music. The man has stood on his principles and has invested his heart and soul in writing great songs whether they be hard-drinking or truck-driving songs, dancefloor stompers, or barroom ballads. El Rancho Azul is Watson's second record with the Red House label, a company well known for its releases by contemporary folk artists and singer/songwriters, not so much for country music devotees. As one might expect, it is not a departure from what Watson's always done — yes, that's good. These 14 songs are a meld of solid electric country with Watson on his Tomkins, backed by pedal steel, upright piano, fiddle, electric bass, and a small drum kit. The drinking songs are among his finest, especially the Bakersfield strut of "I Lie When I Drink" and popping honky tonk blues of "I Drink to Remember," both of which Merle Haggard would be proud to have written (there are no less than five drinking tunes here). "Give Me More Kisses" has more than a touch of rockabilly, while both "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "Where Do You Want It" (a song inspired by one of Billy Joe Shaver's exploits with a gun) are outlaw country at its best. The slower two-step of "Quick Quick Slow Slow" is one of Watson's better love songs (and there are two variations of it back to back; the other is "Slow Quick Quick"). The overly sentimental "Daughter's Wedding Song" doesn't seem to fit with the rest of what's here, but this is clearly a tune he had to write and record, so who can fault him for a little sentimentality? El Rancho Azul adds to a very consistent string that will satisfy fans of his, and indeed any fan of historic country music. God bless Watson's refusal to "progress."

Customer Reviews


omg! i finally can buy i Lie when i drink. AWESOME ALBUM! I can't wait to buy the aLbum... every song...This is reaL country music.. thank you daLe for coming w/ Gr8 new songs

Can't wait!

Heard a few of the songs off this album live when I saw Dale at Martyr's in Chicago last month. Hope I can download my preorder at Midnight tonight or I'm gonna lose it.


I love every song on this album! Dale never disappoints!


Born: October 7, 1962 in Alabama

Genre: Country

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

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 has never sold many records, but...
Full Bio
El Rancho Azul, Dale Watson
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Customer Ratings



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