Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:43

Concert review: Dale Watson and the Lone Stars raise honky tonk spirits at Off Broadway, Thursday, June 14

Concert review: Dale Watson and the Lone Stars raise honky tonk spirits at Off Broadway, Thursday, June 14 Kate McDaniel
Written by Matt Sorrell
Rate this item
(0 votes)

There was a time when country music was the music of the common folks, telling their stories of broken hearts, hard times and redemption.

The instrumentation was sparse, the level of musicianship high. It was played in small clubs and smoky honky-tonks for people to drink and dance to, the soundtrack of their lives and times, both good and bad.

The genre has mutated and morphed over the years, and today the term "country music" seems to get slapped on any act that affects a twang and sings about trucks and silos and swimming holes and such.

Fortunately, there are musicians like Dale Watson around who take a hard line about what country is and most definitely is not, and have no problem putting their music where their mouth is. Watson and his band the Lone Stars did just that at Off Broadway on Thursday night, putting on an extended performance, sans opening act, that could serve as a primer to all pop-country posers on how a real country band puts on a show.

Watson took the stage looking every inch the dapper country music star, from his silver pompadour to his leather-cuffed black duster. From the moment he strapped on his custom Tompkins guitar, Watson had the crowd's full attention. Without fanfare he started the show with "Down Down Down Down Down," from the "Sun Sessions" record he made last year with the Texas Two (actually Lone Stars drummer Mike Bernal and bassist Chris Crepps). Watson and the Lone Stars also previewed several new songs from the band's upcoming release, which Watson described as a "drinking record."

Not long into the set, Watson declared the show an all-request event, and began serving up fan favorites like "Hair of the Dog" and "Dragonfly" called out by the crowd, along with a couple of "mandatory Merle" songs, "Mama Tried" and "Silver Wings."

Watson's tales of Saturday night debauchery and Sunday morning penance, peopled with waitresses and truckers, lovers and liars, came alive through his mellifluous baritone, which just seemed to gain more gravitas with every shot of tequila audience members sent his way.

One element that keeps much of Watson's music rooted in country instead of veering into rockabilly territory is the pedal steel of Don Pawlak, and his talents were on display in spades. He provided everything from plaintive wails to rapid-fire runs and lent an almost orchestral depth to the groove put down by the tight rhythm section.

The band took a brief break at one point in the show, and instead of retreating backstage, Watson spent the time shaking hands and posing for photos. Truth be told, his legendary connection with his fans was on display all night. Audience members frequently wandered, and in some cases lurched, up to the stage during the evening to make requests or just say "hey," and Watson bantered with all of them like old friends.

After two full sets and a spirited encore that included an improvised song about Watson's youngest daughter's impending move to St. Louis and another Haggard fave, "Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink," Watson finally took off his guitar and leaned it against his amp for the last time that night.

As the lights came up and I shuffled out into the night, he was still talking at the edge of the stage with his fans. Take that, Rascal Flatts.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-guitar.jpg

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

2 users and 10270 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook