Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's incredible how it happens, but more often than not, a dragging body, someone wiped out of all their ambition and all of their energy to move around and function, will get that mystical second wind at some point in a night, if things are going well enough. A morning full of headaches and queasy stomach, that dry and awful-tasting mouth, the feeling of being death warmed over can start with a vow to never, ever do what you did the night before ever again, or for an extremely long time. You can't even imagine going out anywhere, much less throwing back anything alcoholic that night. You'll be doing a low-key evening, strictly drinking water and moving around as little as you can possibly manage. Or so you think, but that's before the second wind hits. It could just be that Texas legend Dale Watson has an endless supply of second winds and that's what we hear in his songs - joyous episodes of hard-drinking nights out with the boys, attempting to pick up the pretty women at the bar or honky-tonk. Watson's songs don't happen at the library, nor do they happen in the mornings, when people are recuperating from the effects of a fun night out.
He writes, as if exclusively, from the memory of a man who has three Fridays, three Saturdays and one Sunday week-in and week-out. We throw that Sunday in there only to suggest that there is something of a religious quality to the continuous quest of bottomless servings of the holy trinity of drinks that Watson sings about - tequila, whiskey and beer. He respects those nights when there seems to be no end to their qualities, when the mugs and glass-fulls are spaced out well enough that one can keep charging into those blissful wee hours of the night and still wake up the next day feeling as if, in only a matter of hours, you'll be ready to tie another off and see if the neighborhood bar is already filling up with more ladies, with similar interests. He sings about collecting rounds of Lone Star and shots the way rappers talk about collecting money and getting paid. It's as if there's nothing else out there. What good would having money be if there were no bars to spend that money in and no pretty, fun-loving women to buy drinks for? Watson carries on the tradition of that drinking night - along with all of the trappings that a drinking night entail - and frames them within that galloping, wry sensibility that real country music was founded on. It's country and western music with a wild streak, with an eye toward the good times that are mostly just lightly pocked with sad moments. He sings that "wild things need love too," and they mostly find exactly that on a nightly basis.