on October 17, 2001
Country music is famous for its Christmas albums - most artists record at least one such album in their career, and among those who have recently released second volumes are quality releases by Ricky Van Shelton and George Strait. Christmas In Texas is Dale Watson's first Christmas album and, after listening to these superb recordings, both originals written by Watson and two classic cover versions, he should record a second album whenever he likes. Best known for his uncompromised real country recordings - Cheatin' Heart Attack being the best debut release of the 90s - Watson brings a wide range of country stylings to this release, in a marginally softer and more laid-back style than he usually employs, and the results are fantastic. The Texas swing of You Can Call Me Nick, the rollicking Christmas In Vegas (with the song ending in the same way as Elvis' Viva Las Vegas, a nice touch) and the romantic Christmas Love are all quality new self-penned songs. He covers the all-time Christmas classic The Christmas Song and produces one of the best versions of this much recorded standard that I've heard. My pick of the entire album is Christmas Without An Angel, which deserves to become a classic. You won't buy a better Christmas album this year.
on December 19, 2001
Dale Watson has a wonderful, emotional, deep voice and these songs are a delight. I put this album on and just listen over and over...some of the songs like "Christmas Time In Texas", "Hot Texas Christmas Day" and "Santa and My Semi" sound like they should be classics. I'm not in nor from Texas, but it makes me wish I was. "Christmas Love" is a bouncy, romantic song with Danni Leigh doing a duet with Dale. This is a wonderful album...his voice is perfect.
on October 16, 2001
If, like me, you are fed up with schmaltzy, sentimental so-called Country Christmas albums and want something different - this is it! Mostly original songs, written by the great Honky Tonk master himself, this album ROCKS! Some tracks are funny, others a little sentimental, but they're all wonderful, like everything else Dale produces. "Christmas in Vegas" is pure Elvis. Buy it! And do yourself a favour - go see him perform live, he's the best.....
on November 12, 2003
In our family, while finishing the last bit of our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, we have a tradition...it's time to bring on the Christmas music. The first CD we always play...and dance around the holiday table to, is Dale Watson's "Christmas in Texas." This should be a staple in every die-hard country fan's holiday collection. He hits the classics right on, but offers some toe stomping originals such as our favorites "Christmas in Vegas," and "Christmas Love" (which gives a whole new perspective to the joy of giving.) We all love Bing and White Christmas, but try something different...you won't be disappointed.
on December 28, 2013
Dale Watson can do no wrong in my book. He's a great singer, player, and songwriter, and he deserves a whole lot more attention than he gets. I recall seeing the great Johnny Cash once here in Los Angeles, and he just shook his head at one point and said, "We don't know what they're doin' in Nashville anymore." Dale, in that great tradition of blunt honesty, is a true renegade….meaning, someone who finds a higher calling and follows it, despite the temptations and regalia of "commercial" success, whatever that means. He comes from the real heartland, metaphorical and geographical, and with each record, he just gets better. He reminds us of what made classic American music classic in the first place. Honest emotions, from the gut singing, pure melody, a sense of what came before as well as what comes next.
Can't beat Dale.
Now at this late date, though, I'd like to offer a bit of correction. If you check the credits, you'll note that "Call Me Nick" and "Christmas in Vegas" are credited to Faulkner/Love. This is mainly true. I'm the Love half. Dale played and sang on our original vinyl single of those songs. I like his versions better in most areas. Faulkner doesn't like the chord change in "Nick," but I'm happy with it; I'd have left in the middle eight in "Vegas," but Faulkner is happy with the omission.
To be accurate, these are Faulkner/Love compositions, with arrangements by the very gifted Mr. Watson.
Thanks, Dale. You're a hero. I could use a little help on my new record, should you have the spare time.
on October 18, 2009
Originally released in 2001, Dale Watson's Christmas album is a true perennial. Not only did he write a batch of great Texas-themed Christmas songs, but he played them in a timeless hard-country style that's remained remarkably fresh. Watson's affinity for all things Texas and his alignment with classic country sounds won't surprise his many fans, as he's remained staunchly true to these themes throughout his career. Unlike many of his Nashville-based contemporaries, he's made no effort to accommodate the whims of modern country radio and marketing, nor has he buried himself in snow-themed songs that would fit neither his native Texas, nor the Memphis Sun studio in which he recorded. His two concessions to the classic repertoire, "The Christmas Song" and "Silver Bells" are both fine, but haven't the original flair of the trucker-themed "Santa and My Semi," the swinging joy of the Danni Leigh duet "Christmas Love," or the Elvis-y verve of "Christmas in Vegas." This is an album with enough twangy guitar, doghouse bass, pedal steel, tinkling piano and shuffling drums to light up a Lonestar at the top of your Christmas tree. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]
Right from the start, Dale lets you know what kind of Christmas he wants - a honky tonk Christmas. Except for two old classics (The Christmas song, Silver bells), all the songs are originals - and very good they are too. The style is hardcore country though the prominent upright piano (played by Earl Poole Ball) on several tracks softens it slightly.
Christmas love is a superb duet with the brilliant Danni Leigh. Christmas time in Texas is a lovely, slow song that paints a wonderful picture. Santa bring me back has a bluesy edge and sounds like something Elvis could have recorded - I guess that this track was influenced by The King. Christmas without an angel is a typical country song - reflective and slightly sad. To stop you getting down, the next track, Christmas with you, is a rousing, upbeat song. Hot Texas Christmas day, Santa and my semi, Christmas in Vegas and You can call me Nick are all joyful songs of varying styles that will lift the spirits.
This is an excellent Christmas album to be treasured by traditional country fans everywhere.
on December 7, 2014
We are way behind the times, I guess, because we just discovered this artist. We love his music. We saw him on a talk show, and since then, we have become real fans. A great voice here, and his songs have a great humor to them.
on November 26, 2014
Just great. I mean how do you go wrong with ANYTHING by Dale Watson?
on September 2, 2015