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Monday, June 29, 2015

The roots of your influences

As I was driving to the Historical Novel Society national conference in Denver over weekend (where I was invited to sign my new book and speak), I tuned in to National Public Radio and heard a fascinating interview with country music artist Dale Watson.  It was such a terrific story that as soon as I arrived at the conference I pulled into a parking space and wrote down all I could remember about it – then realized that I probably could find a link to the story and just share that with blog readers. 

Here it is and I highly recommend it if you have the time (it’s about 9 minutes).  If nothing more, especially listen to the part of the story about his song “Burden of the Cross.”  http://www.npr.org/2015/06/27/417535756/dale-watson-call-him-insane-but-dont-call-him-country

Watson grew up in poverty outside of Pasadena, Texas, but found both an outlet and a life in country music, which he says was engrained in him from a very young age.  He began writing his own songs at age 12, made his first recording at age 14, and became an emancipated minor at age 15.  He’d go to school by day and play Houston nightclubs and honky-tonks at night to support himself and his brother.
 
A singer, guitarist, songwriter AND self-published author who now makes his home in Austin, Texas, he is a champion of a new genre of country/folk/rock music he calls Ameripolitan.  “Ameripolitan is original music with prominent roots influences,” Watson said.  “I like staying close to the roots of my influences.”  Great advice for writers, too.

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