Jukebox Fury

Dale Watson

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Jukebox Fury Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Jukebox Fury is a clever title for a covers album, although it's one that implies a record that's full of fervor. That's not quite what Dale Watson delivers here. He does kick up some dust, raving through Roy Head's "Treat Her Right" with help from Steve Cropper, getting deep into the swampy groove of Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" and ripping through Buck Owens' "Act Naturally" with ease. He also does a couple of classic country duets with Linda Gail Lewis ("Always on My Mind") and Lorrie Morgan ("I've Always Been Crazy"), which is perhaps to be expected from such a honky tonk warrior, but most of the rest of the record finds Watson singing radio staples from the 1970s: Bob Seger's "Turn the Page," Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown," Michael Johnson's "Bluer Than Blue," Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," and America's "A Horse With No Name." Such a change of pace is welcome but Watson often sounds overblown and hammy as he delivers these super hits of the '70s with a barroom bellow. It's enough of a distraction to hamper what's otherwise a serviceable collection of dancehall covers.

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