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Douglas Watson R&B Revue "Broken Hearted Man"
Imagine, if you will, that you are a young kid who also happens to be a runner for beer, pop, and cigarettes for Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and Coco Taylor, while they were doing their rehearsals. Now imagine that you are downstairs during those rehearsals quietly playing your Bass along to the music going on upstairs. Well if you were Douglas Watson, you would not have to imagine all that, because that was a real part of your early life.
Douglas Watson, whose father was Eddie “Lovie Lee” Watson (Piano player from 1979 until 1983 for the Muddy Waters Band)and whoms stepbrother was the late great Carey Bell, was destined to become a Blues force in his own right. "Douglas has played with many well known artists such as Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lonnie Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, and has toured with A.C. Reed and the Sparkplugs for nine years ."
Originally from Chicago, Douglas Watson has lived in Canada since 1990, first in London, Ontario and then recently Kitchener, Ontario. Striking out on his own after leaving A.C. Reed and the Sparkplugs, Douglas has continued to garner "tremendous acclaim and recognition for their high energy, crowd pleasing performances", and now with his newest release "Broken Hearted Man", we all get a chance to listen to whom "Bruce Hall of the ’Grand River Blues Society’ has dubbed, ‘The man with the Million Dollar voice'!"
"Broken Hearted Man" consists of 6 Tracks, which at just over 25 minutes is kind of short when compared to a lot of albums out there, but none the less, Douglas Watson does not waste a second of it as he packs in some of the best Chicago Blues, Gospel, Soul, and R&B, that I have heard in a while.
Two of the Tracks on "Broken Hearted Man" are originals by Douglas Watson, the title track "Broken Hearted Man" and "The Best Way I Can".
For the covers on "Broken Hearted Man", Douglas Watson chose an interesting mix of songs, some of which were also linked to interesting characters whom wrote them, such as, Deadric Malone whom was the co-writer of "When You Got A Heartache". Born "Don Robey (November 1, 1903 – June 16, 1975) was an American record label executive, songwriter and record producer, who used criminal means as part of his business model. As the founder of Peacock Records and the eventual owner of Duke Records, he was responsible for developing the careers of many rhythm and blues artists in the 1950s and 1960s.
He has been credited with writing or co-writing many of the songs recorded by Duke/Peacock artists, either under his real name, or under the pseudonym of Deadric Malone.
Track 4, "Lets Straighten It Out" was a song written by Benjamin Latimore and was his biggest hit charting at #1 on the R&B Charts and reaching #31 "on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 charts ".
The last 2 covers on "Broken Hearted Man", are Tracks 5 and 6, "Down Home Blues" written by George Jackson and "Please Don't Let Our Good Thing End" written by Frank Lee Johnson. George Jackson has of course wrote and co-wrote many great songs of which one was Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll". All the covers are a bit slower in nature but none the less still were great to listen to and beautifully showed off Douglas Watson's great vocals, especially Track 6 "Please Don't Let Our Good Thing End".
Besides Douglas Watson, are his amazing band consisting of 'Mississippi' Pete Temple (Harmonica's), Chris Latta (Guitar), and Maciej Lukasiewicz (Drums). Special Guests on various Tracks included John MacMurchy (Sax), Junior Reggan (Organ), John Lee (Organ), Michelle Rumball (Background Vocals), and Pat Temple (Background Vocals).
Not being a great fan of R&B, I did not know what to expect from "Broken Hearted Man", especially with the name R&B Revue on the cover of the CD, but I must admit that started to enjoy this album, pretty well from the get go, especially the 2 Tracks that were written by Douglas Watson, of which, Track 3 "The Best Way I Can" was my favorite.
For lovers of really well performed and extremely well sung Chicago Blues, Gospel, Soul, and R&B, "Broken Hearted Man" is certainly what the doctor ordered.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Additional Info
The album represents elements of upbeat rockin Chicago Blues, as well as gospel tinged R&B Soul that was an offshoot of the Chicago Blues scene. The variety here will never leave the listener bored, as every cut offers a different perspective as to how wide the genre really is. This CD does it all!
1. Broken Hearted Man 2:37
2. When You Got A Heartache 4:06
3. The Best Way I Can 3:19
4. Lets Straighten It Out 4:51
5. Down Home Blues 6:23
6. Please Don't Let Our Good Thing End 4:36
Listen To Samples Here...