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Digital Subscriptions > Country Music > Apr/May 2019: Classic Country! > CAPTAIN AMERIPOLITAN

CAPTAIN AMERIPOLITAN

Rejecting the ‘country’ label to lead the charge for the music he loves, Dale Watson is ighting for truth, justice, and the Ameripolitan way. Is he the hero ‘proper’ country music not only deserves, but really needs?

I’ve given up on the whole thing of country music,” declares Dale Watson, dramatically. Across dozens of albums from 1995 to his latest release, Call Me Lucky, Watson epitomises the look, sound and style of classic country, so when he says this he means what? Thankfully, he isn’t talking about leaving his guitar in a dumpster and turning his back on music. He’s talking about the word itself. Back in 1995, on his debut album Cheatin’ Heart Attack, Dale Watson was already leading the charge against the dilution and dissolution of the music that he loved when he penned the track Nashville Rash. And he hasn’t stopped since.

When he’s not on the road, Watson splits his time between Austin, Texas, and Memphis, but his one brief brush with the Nashville record industry three decades past left a bad taste that lingers still. “That’s exactly why I wrote the song many years ago, Nashville Rash,” he says, “because I go in there and they kept telling me; ‘That would have been a country hit years ago, that would have been a good song years ago.’ And, of course, at that time Johnny Cash didn’t even have a record deal in Nashville, they turned him down, so I thought, that kind of thinking gives me a rash. Nashville gives me a rash. You’ve got this guy who’s head of the record company who came in from another company that used to sell toilet seats and he’s trying to sell music the same way.”

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