Watson wows crowd on Bangor Waterfront

Posted Aug. 29, 2010, at 11:13 a.m.

Images of neon beer signs and lazily spinning ceiling fans in a dusty Texan roundhouse are what come to mind when listening to country singer-songwriter Dale Watson. In his second appearance on the Bangor Waterfront, Watson played to a happy crowd under warm August skies on Saturday afternoon at the American Folk Festival.

Watson started his set out with a performance of his song “Drag n’ Fly,” co-written by his friend Freddie Dean Snowden of Deer Isle. He ran through a gamut of selections from his nearly 30-year career, ranging from “I Hate These Songs,” which name-checks famous songs that have special meaning to Watson, to “Heaahh!” a song about saying the word in the title to your misbehaving children.

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With his silver pompadour and his long, elegant black jacket, Watson looks every part the outlaw country hero. His gorgeous guitar finger-picking and pleasingly twangy baritone was augmented by a killer rhythm section and sweet pedal steel and fiddle. There’s a reason why Watson is one of the most beloved and respected country singer-songwriters in the business today, despite the fact he never hit it quite as big as his peers Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakum. Why he didn’t is a bit of a mystery. His effortless performance Saturday only underscored what a pleasure it is to watch him do his thing.