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Dale Watson and His Lone Stars

The Truckin' Sessions – 1998 (Koch)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Dale Watson and His Lone Stars

Though 9 of the 14 songs came out last year on Dale Watson's self-released "Good Luck 'n' Good Truckin'" cassette, "The Truckin' Sessions" is a different beast altogether.

One song ("Yankee Doodle Jean") has been cut from the cassette version, five new songs have been added, Watson has re-recorded his vocals and guitar parts, and everything has been remixed. The end result is a considerable improvement over the earlier version. Though "The Truckin' Sessions" kicks off with the same three songs as the original cassette ("Good Luck 'n' Good Truckin' Tonite," "Big Wheels Keep Rollin'," and "Heaven In Baltimore") Watson made the right decision in sprinkling the new material throughout the album.

And, in fact, some of the new songs are the best cuts, particularly "Everyday Knuckleclutchin', Gearjammin', Supertruckin', Loose Nut Behind the Wheel" (whew!) and "You've Got a Long Way to Go." The original cassette was recorded in a single seven-hour session. Watson's decision to take more time with his guitars and vocals the second time around has likewise paid off.

In the end, well worth picking up, even if you have the earlier version. Once again, Watson has proven why he's widely regarded as the Great White Hope for fans of traditional honky tonk.