Kathy: So, how was it, working on your music in Johnny Cash's cabin?
Dale Watson: If it was in my head or just a feeling, it was magical just for the fact that Johnny Cash was once there.
Kathy:You've never been derivative of anyone else, but your music has always shown evidence of your influences. How do you feel this disc, From The Cradle To The Grave," shows more of that with Cash's influence?
Dale Watson: Writing the songs at the cabin, I couldn't help but be drawn to the boom-chicka rhythms as much as I tried to fight it. But when I fought it, the creative process was interrupted, so I ended up going with it. If I'm ever accused of being derivative of my heroes then I would take that as a compliment. I like staying close to the roots of my influences.
Kathy: I know you've been increasingly disillusioned with what's happened to "country" music - especially considering the cover of your new disc - & that's led to your personal genre creation. Tell us how you came up with "Ameripolitan," & what the classification means to you.
Dale Watson: I have been looking for a name for years and of course it sounds like it would be easy. Americana came along for the same reason. But to me Americana means Original music with prominent folk/rock influence. Ameripolitan is Original music with prominent roots influence.
Kathy: How do you like working with Hyena Records this time out?
Dale Watson: Hyena Records, though an independent label, doesn't think small. Every label I have ever signed with only thinks regionally to their interests. Hyena knows that I travel internationally and should be promoted that way. Also they know that I'm in the cracks of genres, not rock enough for Americana, and too roots for country. They have a lot of integrity and are putting their neck out their to make a mark with my music.
Kathy: You've worked with some amazing talent in your career. Is there anyone who stands out for you as a very special piece or performance?
Dale Watson: I am a fan of the musicians that made the "sound" that backed my heroes. Lloyd Green is a world renown pedal steel guitarists that I had the pleasure of working with on a record. I enjoyed it so much that we are going to do a record for the next Hyena release. Lloyd and I will produce it and Lloyd will hand pick the musicians for the recording. He is a legend among steel guitarists and still has the chops. It sends chills up my spine every time I hear him play on one of my originals.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite of the songs on your new disc? Do you have a favorite of all your songs? One that you especially enjoy performing?
Dale Watson: My favorite song on From the Cradle to the Grave is "Justice For All," just because it was the first song I wrote there at the log cabin and is so far away from what I normally write it felt like I had help writing that one it came out so quickly, plus I feel strong about the subject matter. As for my favorite song I've written, "Your Love I'm Gonna Miss" on the Every Song I Write Is For You" album, and favorite to perform is "I Wish I Was Crazy Again."
Kathy: Going with that, do you have a favorite venue to visit and play at?
Dale Watson: Ginny's Little Longhorn is my favorite place to play and hang because it's close to old school beer joint music venue as you'll ever find. The Continental Club is also in the top as well.