CD review – Chris Watson “Pleasure and Pain”
Chris Watson is not your average Texas guitar slinger; accept where talent comes to mind. Watson’s second album Pleasure and Pain is a collection of funky loose grooves one might be more likely to find coming out of Chicago or Philly. The nine strong original tunes are anchored by three fresh covers songs traversing the spectrum from blues to soul, gospel and southern rock. Each track features Watson’s smooth youthful tenor and singing guitar chops alongside his outstanding backup band with some spicy horns and backups added in for flavor. The album kicks off with the Watson’s white boy funk “Heart On My Sleeve,” then sliding into a double shuffle burner “Untrue,” sounding more Stevie Ray like. The strongest track on the album has to be the powerful slow blues classic “Heartache.” Songs like this one don’t come along often and when you hear them on indie records you wish they had the budget for full liner notes with printed lyrics you can dive into. Watson give us a fine reading of the gospel standard “Going Home,” giving it a “Thrill is Gone,’ twist. The he gets gritty on Sean Costello’s “Hard Luck Woman,” paying tribute to another young gun taken too soon.
A native of Denton Texas, Watson has been gathering attention in the lone star state landing him opening slots for touring acts; this strong release could very well propel him to the same national stage.
Rick J Bowen