Dale Watson and the ‘Ameripolitan’ Movement

Dale Watson and the ‘Ameripolitan’ Movement

Dale Watson has been a well-known name in the country music scene for decades now, and in that time has been defining his style of country as callback to the genre’s sound in the 1950s and 60s, a distinction which has remained virtually unchanged. Now, however, Watson is championing the term new ‘Ameripolitan‘ for his genre to prevent furthering any undesired connotations of older stylings of country that differ from the mainstream.

“It’s what country used to be,” Watson says of Ameripolitan music, “hillbilly, rockabilly, outlaw, western swing and honky-tonk and it’s going pretty well. We don’t have to worry about what they’re doing on mainstream country radio. It doesn’t matter to us at all. We were never invited in the first place.”

Dale Watson claims that the style needs a new title because descriptions such as ‘traditional,’ ‘timeless,’ and ‘roots’ make the genre sound vintage or like covers of old songs, rather than new original ones. However, with critical acclaim surrounding his most recent album El Rancho Azul and a recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, is Watson really still an underdog against pop country?  Does the Ameripolitan genre, which will have its own Ameripolitan Awards show in February 2014 in Austin (hosted by Johnny Knoxville) not stand out as an already established genre simply acquiring a new name?  We’re not sure, but any time we can get some extra attention for a true art form is good news for us all, kudos Dale.

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