With a silver pompadour and a belt-busting baritone that delivers songs about heartbreak and honky-tonking, Texas musician Dale Watson is straight country — but he doesn’t necessarily want you to say so.
“I think what’s coming out of the industry has gotten watered down quite a bit,” Watson says. “To say that I’m country music is misleading to people in the mainstream, [with] what people see on American Idol and hear on mainstream radio.”
Instead, Watson characterizes his music as “Ameripolitan,” a new genre he says comprises honky-tonk, Western swing, rockabilly and outlaw country. He’s incorporated elements of all four styles into his new album, Call Me Insane.
No matter what you call it, though, Watson’s music is filled with autobiographical experiences and real-life characters. One song on Call Me Insane, “Burden Of The Cross,” finds Watson grappling with the death of a girlfriend in a car accident.