My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Dale Watson – ‘Every Song I Write Is For You’

every song i write is for youIn 2001 Dale’s life was derailed when his girlfriend Terri Herbert was tragically killed in a car crash. He made this album in tribute to her, and her impact on his life. It is, understandably, the most personal record he ever made.

The affecting title track depicts her as a woman who loved music and wanted him to write songs for her.

Every time I write the word ‘love’ down on paper
It’s like scratching your name into my heart…
From now on, every song that I write is for you

‘If I Knew Then What I Know Now’ is wistfully sad, regretting he had not made the most of their time together. He also bemoans the future they were robbed of in ‘These Things We’ll Never Do’. He sounds a little more comforted in ‘Your Love I’m Gonna Miss’.

‘I SeeMy Future’ parallels his own loss with a story about an older man who is still bearing the scars of a similar bereavement:

Now I can’t understand why she left and I’m still here
I’m living but I ain’t living

“I can’t understand why she’s gone
And I’m still here…
I’m living but I ain’t living”…

Lighting strikes sometimes twice
Fate deals the same hand…

I’ve seen my future in a man

The even bleaker ‘I’d Deal With The Devil’ shows how deep the wound of his beloved’s loss ran. ‘I See Your Face In Every Face I See’ and ‘Our First Times And Our Last Times’ detail his obsessive thoughts of her.

‘One More For Her’ is a more conventional song about drinking to deal with loss.

The lighter ‘You’re The Best Part Of Me’ has a country-jazz feel, and ‘Your Money Can’t Buy Her Love’ is big band meets western swing. ‘Hey Chico’ looks back fondly on their relationship, with a Tex Mex feel to the arrangement. The gentle ‘Angel In My Dreams’ shows him coming to terms with the reality of loss, but he then reverts to a state of denial where he finds ‘I Can’t Let You Go’.

Very real emotions are stripped bare on a very sad record, befitting its origins, and a very moving one.

Grade: A+

2 responses to “Album Review: Dale Watson – ‘Every Song I Write Is For You’

  1. Paul W Dennis June 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    A real downer of an album, but a great album. It is tough to succeed with such a collection of songs but the exceptional performer (such as Frank Sinatra) or Dale Watson can pull it off. This isn’t my favorite Dale Watson album because I can only taken so much personal loss in music, but Dale’s sincerity cannot be doubted

  2. luckyoldsun June 19, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Agree about the downer. I’ve bought every DW CD–at least every genuine commercial label release–but I never played this one again after listening to it once.

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