Lee Bob Watson
As I grow older (and, mind you, I’m still a very young 29!) I have found my distaste for country western graying as my love of music broadens. Rather, it’s not that I’m suddenly a cowboy boot steppin’, ten gallon hat wearin’, country girl screaming at a Kenny Chesney concert, it’s that I’ve dug around the outskirts of the roots music and discovered a certain appreciation for the better side of the sound.
When the steel guitars cry, the vocals ooze with working class pain, and you can almost smell the whiskey on the breath of the downtrodden; such is the country music I can get behind.
Lee Bob Watson, the latest traveling storyteller whose gospel-tinted folk songs have awakened my interest in the roots of Americana, has put out an album of soul-searching, heart-wrenching tunes that transcend labeling. It’s not exactly a country record, but I wouldn’t classify Watson as an indie rocker, or merely a singer/songwriter either. This is not John Mayer, nor is it Keith Urban, or Ryan Adams.
Aficionado! has so many layers to it — like a good Bob Dylan record — that just when I think I’ve got it pinned, a song like the ’60s pop gem “Highway 1 Sunset” completely throws me for a loop. Just when I think I’ve gone country, he hits me with a perfectly crafted pop song comparable to The Beach Boys (whom, I don’t care what anyone says, I’ve always liked better than The Beatles).
Whatever you want to call this cowboy with the guitar, he’s made damn good album!
Lee Bob Watson: www.leebob.com