Songwriters - Lisa Morales - Dale Watson - Earl Poole Ball
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Following a long-run in the Houston/San Antonio-based folk duo Sisters Morales, Lisa Morales steps out with an astonishingly beautiful solo debut “Beautiful Mistake” that is as cathartic as it is devastating in its fearless confrontation of grief.
Lisa has been a diva in disguise. She sings the love songs of a strong grown woman in a voice that demands that you look her in the eye. One imagines her singing a roadhouse into rapt attention. All of the songs are superbly crafted with verbal and aural hooks.
The years of playing live give her music a Texas flavor delivered with an air of authority.
Though Dale Watson’s recording career spans two decades, the maverick country traditionalist has never before released an album like this. “There’s nothing here that’s retro,” insists Dale of Carryin’ On. “I was really hoping to make a record with today’s technology, but with the musicians who played on the music I grew up on. I’m pretty happy with the way we’ve merged today with yesterday on this album. It will remind people of the old records, but it sounds like something new.”
The new album on a new label marks a fresh start for Watson, a major leap from the hardscrabble honky-tonk that has won him an international following, earned him induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and established him as a leading crusader against the “Nashville Rash” plaguing the country music industry. Without compromising his musical values, he sounds here like a singer with nothing to prove and no one to fight.
The angry young man has matured. The result, says Dale, is “the pinnacle of what I’ve done, in terms of the songs, the production, the musicianship.”
Ask Earl Poole Ball to describe himself and he’ll answer simply; “I’m a rockabilly piano player and singer” Well yes, and Chuck Berry played a little guitar!
By rights, Ball should be in just about every Americana Music Hall of Fame there is --- and several they haven’t dreamed up yet. In addition to being Johnny Cash’s longtime piano player, the man dubbed “Mr. Honky-Tonk Piano” backed everyone from the Byrds to the Buckaroos.
As a producer, songwriter, and arranger, he’s left an indelible mark on the Billboard country charts, along the way playing an important role in the evolution of alt-country.
His old business card lists three names under his own: Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, and Wynn Stewart. “All of my references are dead,” he notes with a wistful smile.