Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chris Watson Band -- "Pleasure & Pain"

This Chris Watson Band release was an answer to prayer for me--this, along with the Omar & The Howlers release "Essential" and J T Coldfire's "Always And Never," gave me the material I needed to start out on my latest "job:" Bruce's Texas Blues Show on the internet radio

I was contacted by Downtown Deb and agreed to do a Texas Blues Show. Now I had about 600 blues cds in my personal library, so I started pulling and downloading my Texas blues. That gave me a start, but I knew I would soon need a lot more new Texas Blues to really get the internet radio show off the ground.  I started praying for new material.

And that's how J T Coldfire, and Omar & The Howlers, and Chris Watson Band came to be answered prayers. I have already blog-reviewed both the others--so let me take a few lines and say that the Chris Watson Band has made a very strong cd. It's nothing fancy, just a guitar-centric blues affair by a band that has been together and touring in the Dallas/Ft. Worth clubs since 2006. This is their second release, following their debut "Just For Show," which was released in 2010. The band is Chris Watson on guitar and lead vocals, ably backed by Billy Acord and Chris Gipson on bass, Jon Zoog and Jason Thomas on drums, Scott Morris and Eric Scortia on keys, Justin Barbee on trumpet, Jeff Dazey on sax, and Kristin Major on backing vocals. Nine of the 12 songs are originals, and they are all wonderful. They range from "Heart On My Sleeve," which is lightly funky, through "Heartache," which is a slow bluesy ballad and my favorite song here, to "Mama Told Me," which has Watson showing off his chops with both blazing leads and chunky slashing rhythm work. The covers are all great songs, and they are done very well here--they were all staples from Sean Costello's live sets: "Going Home," "Hard Luck Woman," and Bobby Womack's Check It Out." (For more on Sean Costello, the Atlanta-based blues guitarist, check in my back reviews--he was a tremendous talent who died way too soon.)

Everything here is melodic, tight, soulful--and well done. They may be young, but the Chris Watson Band has all the ability in the world. Keep an eye on these guys. They have a very bright future ahead of them.

You can buy "Pleasure & Pain" at

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