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Gene Watson

In a Perfect World

(Shanachie; US: 25 Sep 2007; UK: 24 Sep 2007)

Gene Watson’s latest album is further proof that he is one of the better country singers to emerge from Nashville’s heyday of the ‘70s and ‘80s. With people such as Lee Ann Womack, Vince Gill and Rhonda Vincent making guest appearances, Watson shines on the opening honky-tonkin’ “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” with the obligatory pedal steel in the middle portion. Gill shows up on the equally strong “Let Me Be the First to Go” providing sweet backing harmonies; but even this effort pales compared to the gorgeous classic country style of “Today I Started Loving You Again” with Womack lending her talents. Joe Nichols stops by for “In a Perfect World” but the song isn’t anything to write home about but the lone exception to this honky-tonk format is the gritty “I Buried Our Love” that brings to mind contemporaries like Montgomery Gentry. Another toe-tapper is the pleasing “This Side of the Door” with Mark Chesnutt helping out. Overall the album proves that Watson hasn’t lost anything since he started decades ago. In fact he makes it look too damn easy.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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