Dale Watson in Bentonville, AR 6/25/2022

ukepicker

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I heard Dale Watson at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR on Saturday night. Beautiful outdoor concert, drenched in fireflies.

I hadn't had much exposure to his music until then, but I was very impressed. I'm a life-long, dyed-in-the-wool Merle fan. And Dale has a Bakersfield soul, for sure.

He played a custom tele. Looked like coins inlayed on the top. At first I thought it was an esquire, but as the daylight faded and the stage lights gained more prominence, I could see the exposed polepieces of a neck pickup.

First, let me say that the volume was perfect and the mix was really good. Kudos to the engineer that night. The whole fam damily was there and we all enjoyed it. From my septuagenarian father-in-law to my 6-week old daughter. I'm always so grateful when the sound is right. It makes or breaks the whole night.

What a great band! I loved watching them work together so well. They were:
Dale - a tasty picker and really fun entertainer. GREAT classic tele tones! Fender Mustang amp (maybe a Mustang III V2?) He's a great player. I liked every single song. That's a rarity for me. And he was in fine voice, if you ask me. He mentioned that he was having a little trouble, but man, I wish I could sing like that!!!

Solid, tasteful, dependable drummer (Mike Bernal?) - small kit, mostly using brushes. One of those drummers that was always right there holding things together when they got a little loose. And you never really noticed him unless it was the perfect time to notice him. GREAT harmonies, too.

Upright bass player Lawrence Cevallos. Poor Lawrence was the only weak spot in the mix. The bass notes were there, but sort of indistinct and the mix was missing any of the upright character. He is solid player though. Calm and cool, and added great harmonies. He was using and Aguilar amp with matching vertical cab. Maybe 2x10 or 2x12?

Pedal Steel - Don Pawlak played a mean pedal steel all night long! Classy, tasty, fun. Really entertaining interplay between tele and steel. Don is an obvious pro - he knew exactly how to be fun-to-watch from his seated position. I'm not 100% sure about his amp (it was behind him, from my vantage point). Probably a twin, from what I could see.


I wish I could've found the merch table. It was buried somewhere on the grounds (Shame on you, Crystal Bridges!! You should take better care of the talent you hire).


Thanks for a great show, Dale!
 

Wound_Up

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Shreveport, LA
I heard Dale Watson at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR on Saturday night. Beautiful outdoor concert, drenched in fireflies.

I hadn't had much exposure to his music until then, but I was very impressed. I'm a life-long, dyed-in-the-wool Merle fan. And Dale has a Bakersfield soul, for sure.

He played a custom tele. Looked like coins inlayed on the top. At first I thought it was an esquire, but as the daylight faded and the stage lights gained more prominence, I could see the exposed polepieces of a neck pickup.

First, let me say that the volume was perfect and the mix was really good. Kudos to the engineer that night. The whole fam damily was there and we all enjoyed it. From my septuagenarian father-in-law to my 6-week old daughter. I'm always so grateful when the sound is right. It makes or breaks the whole night.

What a great band! I loved watching them work together so well. They were:
Dale - a tasty picker and really fun entertainer. GREAT classic tele tones! Fender Mustang amp (maybe a Mustang III V2?) He's a great player. I liked every single song. That's a rarity for me. And he was in fine voice, if you ask me. He mentioned that he was having a little trouble, but man, I wish I could sing like that!!!

Solid, tasteful, dependable drummer (Mike Bernal?) - small kit, mostly using brushes. One of those drummers that was always right there holding things together when they got a little loose. And you never really noticed him unless it was the perfect time to notice him. GREAT harmonies, too.

Upright bass player Lawrence Cevallos. Poor Lawrence was the only weak spot in the mix. The bass notes were there, but sort of indistinct and the mix was missing any of the upright character. He is solid player though. Calm and cool, and added great harmonies. He was using and Aguilar amp with matching vertical cab. Maybe 2x10 or 2x12?

Pedal Steel - Don Pawlak played a mean pedal steel all night long! Classy, tasty, fun. Really entertaining interplay between tele and steel. Don is an obvious pro - he knew exactly how to be fun-to-watch from his seated position. I'm not 100% sure about his amp (it was behind him, from my vantage point). Probably a twin, from what I could see.


I wish I could've found the merch table. It was buried somewhere on the grounds (Shame on you, Crystal Bridges!! You should take better care of the talent you hire).


Thanks for a great show, Dale!

Having 2 pickups doesn't automatically disqualify it from being an Esquire. It still could've been an Esquire. Pretty sure they called those Double Esquires . Each and every Esquire came with a place for a neck pickup already routed. Pretty sure I recall that they also came with another pickguard and a neck pickup not installed, in the case.


Screenshot_20220710-034849_Chrome.jpg
 

John Stephen

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Agree with all comments. I found out about Dale Watson just a couple of years ago, and I think he and his band are outstanding. Great talents and very entertaining.
 

billy logan

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Sep 18, 2019
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weatherford tx
Thanks for the detailed report, ukepicker! Even the fireflies mention...they're getting mighty rare around here :(
btw Was Dale's hair ok?
 

dgregory

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Mar 6, 2021
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SoCal, USA
A friend and I talked with Dale for some time after a show at the old SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was a cold, rainy weeknight, and the crowd(?) was...well, let's just say less than capacity, so much so that Dale gave up his headliner spot to the up-and-coming local talent, probably to get a head start for the trip to the next stop on the tour.
But his graciousness and patience, to stand in the alley behind the club for some time in the cold and drizzle, answering our questions and sharing stories about Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance, and the bygone Palomino days, and the country scene in LA in the 80's and 90's, will never be forgotten.
Dale is not just a great talent that loves music, especially country music, which makes him increasingly rare in this day and age, but also a true gentleman.
 

archetype

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IIRC Dale has played through a Mustang III for a long time. It's a worthy gigging amp and readily replaceable if someone nicks it.
 

telepuller

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I'm embarrassed to say that I only recognized him a few years ago on a televised series on PBS (Sun Records something or other). I couldn't believe I didn't know who he was previously - especially considering how much I like Merle and how much he sounds like him. That has been my favorite style of music since I was a kid in San Diego in the '50s. Thanks for the description of your live experience. It made me feel like I saw it - listened to it as well. How can you beat great voices accompanied by a tele and a pedal steel? I'll answer that.....you can't.
 

mmannaxx

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Jun 17, 2008
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367
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Ohio
Saw Dale about 10 years ago in Columbus, OH. He put on a great show. I hope he got his coin guitar back!
 




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