Dale Watson - The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two
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The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two (Hyena, 2009)

Dale Watson

Reviewed by Ken Burke

Combining elements of Western Swing with twangy Bakersfield and dashes of rockabilly, Dale Watson has fashioned a zingy 14-song set that glorifies the lives of road jockeys with as much panache as his 1998 Volume One set.

Utilizing the hard-twang skills of guitarist Redd Volkeart, pedal steel master Don Don Pawlak, fiddler Don Roby, bassist Gene Kurtz and drummer David Bowen, Watson summons the sound of Buck Owens's Buckaroos (Truckin' Man") and Merle Haggard's Strangers (10-4). Haggard's influence on the Texas-born singer-songwriter's vocals is most prominent on the working man anthems (Hey Driver, No Help Wanted") and one exquisite death ballad (Let This Trucker Go). Yet, Watson is too clever to be dismissed as an imitator.

Amid snappy Johnny Paycheck-style nostalgia (Jack's Truckstop and Cafe) and Dave Dudley-tinged trucking odes (Ma and Freddie and Jake) reside some memorable, lighthearted fare. One odd yet, funny tune about a gay CB radio user (Truckin' Queen) is based on a true story. Another, written from the perspective of a truck (Hero), showcases a surprising sense of anthropomorphic empathy. Watson wrote/co-wrote all the tunes, and a few are a little thin lyrically. However, the set never drags, and the execution is eminently road worthy.

CDs by Dale Watson

Call Me Lucky, 2019 Under the Influence, 2016 Live At The Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday, 2016 Call Me Insane, 2015 Truckin' Sessions Trilogy, 2014 Dale Watson and the Texas Two - The Sun Sessions, 2011 Carryin' On, 2010 The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two, 2009 Little Darlin' Sessions, 2007 From the Cradle to the Grave, 2007 Whiskey or God, 2006

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