Debbie Watson
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Debbie Watson

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Texas country angel Debbie Watson left the Lone Star State several years ago to chase her dream in Music City, but her spirit didn’t stray too far from the Texas border. She just released her debut CD, Big Hair Down In Texas, on her own label, Big Hair Records. Monique Grezlik penned the title cut, inspired no doubt by Big Hair and Texas. Debbie calls the CD “a mixture of western swing meets bluegrass meets rockabilly.” Debbie, who used to play down in Texas in an all-girl group, Sugar Creek, had her own country band in the Houston area, Debbie Watson and the Hot Watts, until she split for Nashville in 2000. “I’m happy to say Big Hair Down In Texas is getting played in several countries in Europe, including Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Austria, Croatia, and the Netherlands, as well as in New Zealand and Australia,” Debbie reports. “In addition, Big Hair Down In Texas was ‘Album of the Week’ in The Netherlands the week of July 3.” The CD is also receiving spins on stations in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan and Connecticut. In the works for Debbie is a Texas tour to promote her CD, and a CD release party in the Houston area. - Leon Beck


You can find more than just country music in a Texas honky-tonk on a Saturday night. There’s also beer, boots, belt buckles, and, of course, you’ve gotta have that big hair.

When Debbie Watson was a member of Houston’s Sugar Creek, a trio of honkytonk angels, she saw a lot of big haired honeys boot-scootin’ across the hardwood dance floor. And she also saw big hair when she looked in the mirror. “The girls in Sugar Creek used to go to the bathroom at the gigs and we’d put on our makeup and tease our hair,” Debbie says. “It was completely natural for us.”

One night she told fellow band member Monique Grezlik that she should write a song about big hair. “Yeah! Big hair down in Texas,” Monique laughed. “Monique is extremely talented and witty,” Debbie says, “and she came up with the song.”

That song eventually ended up as the title cut of Debbie Watson’s new CD, and, as Debbie says, “I’ve always worn my hair big. It’s just who I am. The girl from Texas with big hair. When you look at it that way, what else would I have called it?”

The girl from Texas now calls Music City her home, and she says she’s been singing the song in her shows in Nashville for several years and “people love it. “So, I decided to put the song on my CD. It’s a very simple song,” she states. “It just describes going out dancing in Texas on a typical Saturday night with makeup on, and, of course, wearing big hair.”

Released on an independent label without the benefit of a major promotional campaign, the CD has garnered the attention of radio, and the title cut has received airplay in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan and Connecticut, as well as radio play in Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Austria, Croatia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. And, Debbie, says, she just might pick up airplay in France.

Debbie, who moved to Nashville in 2001, returns to her Texas roots for a Big Hair Down In Texas CD release party on Oct. 28 at the Lone Star Club in Pasadena. “I can’t wait to be among my Texas fans again,” she says. “I may live in Nashville now, but Houston will always be my home. I’m coming home to my friends, family and peers -- and there’s nobody else I’d rather play for. “Sandy at the Lone Star Club has been so very nice to me. She believes in me and has graciously invited me to hold my CD release party at the Lone Star Club. And I’m very fortunate to have one of southeast Texas’ most popular bands, Al White and Chaparral, back me on my sets.”

Debbie, who describes the CD as “western swing meets rockabilly meets bluegrass,” says she will visit radio stations in Houston, Austin and San Antonio during her visit home, and she has plans for an extended Texas radio tour. Her next single will be “My Baby Thinks I’m Just Right,” and she’s currently writing songs for her next CD, which she will start recording in 2006.

Born in the “tiny East Oklahoma town of Idabel,” she grew up in nearby Broken Bow. She says her “fascination with music began early. One of the earliest memories I have is, at the age of 5 or 6, sneaking into the next-door neighbor’s house and playing their piano. I’d get a couple of minutes of playing time in before I’d wake the baby and the neighbor would catch me. “I begged and begged my parents for a piano, and when they finally bought me one, I sat out at the end of the driveway all day until the delivery men brought it. I spent hours and hours sitting around playing and singing.”

Her family moved to Houston when she was 8, and growing up, she was exposed to her parents’ music (Glen Campbell, the Kingston Trio and Roger Miller ), and she later discovered the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and the Eagles. “Probably my greatest influences have been Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless and Pam Tillis, and I learned to sing harmony singing along with Jackson Browne and the Eagles records.” At 16, she visted some musician friends at a club in Bacliff who invited her to get up and sing. “The first time I sang in front of a crowd,” she recalls, “I felt complete bliss, like this was where I belonged and what I was meant to do.”

At 17, she started performing as one-half of a duo that played Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on Nasa Road One. Over the years she has played with many Houston area bands, including Cool Morning, Second Nature, No Exit, the Larry Callis Band, Deep River, Shiloh, and the female trio, Sugar Creek. “Before I joined Sugar Creek, I did a stint with an almost-all-attorney party band called the Ambulance Chasers. That was a fun ninepiece band complete with horns. We did Motown, soul and R&B.”

In ‘93, she formed Debbie Watson & the Hot Watts, and in 2001 she left the band to make that trip to Nashviile. She made that move, she says, because she felt she had done all she could do in Houston. “Or maybe I was ready for a change. I came up here on a wing and a prayer. I didn’t know anybody and had no contacts. I just trusted that God would guide me in whichever way I should go.” And with the release of the Big Hair Down In Texas CD, Debbie’s on the right road.
- Leon Beck


Debbie, I was blown away by your singing and stage presence at the jamboree. Been playing "Big Hair Down in Texas" ever since on my Radio Show. Thanks, and nice meeting you, Debbie. You’re great.
----- Gary Bradshaw, Western Heart Promotions

Debbie, you’re incredible! Your singing is REAL Texas swing, and your delivery and persona are adorable!! It is like looking at and listening to Dolly Parton. Great performers either move people or make them have a big smile - and you are one of them!
----- Duane Hitchings, Nashville, Tennessee, Grammy-award winning songwriter, musician/band member and/or co-writer with such artists as Rod Stewart, Kim Carnes, Pam Tillis, Heart, Eddie Money, Pat Benatar, Steve Perry, Alice Cooper, Buddy Miles, Jimmy Hendrix, and Janis Joplin

I just got the CD and I love it! You surely are a very talented lady! Your Nana must be smiling down at you!
----- Doug, United Kingdom

Debbie, your Big Texas Hair is Sensational and you've got a great smile to go with it! Love your sound too. It's really fun and infectious!
----- Chrissie, Nashville, Tennessee

It was great meeting you at the Jamboree By The Lake. Loved your singing. You are the genuine article.
----- Lonnie Ratliff, Producer and Songwriter, Nashville, Tennessee

Debbie, I really love your sound and great catchy song! You've got it all covered and you're unique!
----- LoriAnn, St. Augustine, Florida. www.loriann.biz

I love your tunes. Your voice just encapsulates your genre. Love it! And you have the biggest hair I have ever seen!
----- Trevor Howard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Somehow I stumbled into your hair -- I mean site! I love your songs and sound. Keep it true to that Texas Big Hair!
----- Live Life Large, Rob Arey, Songwriter, Nashville, Tennessee

I love your Texas sound and awesome "real country" voice. Very nice!
----- Corey Parkman, Songwriter, Mississippi
- None


This CD is a must have for every country music fan! The songs are beautifully written and the sound is truly country. Just enough twang to get your boots scootin’. The title track, “Big Hair Down In Texas” is a country classic in the making. Debbie’s description of her music is western swing meets bluegrass meets rockabilly. She certainly knows what she is talking about. This CD is going into the iPod!! - GoGirlsMusic.com


DEBBIE WATSON – BIG HAIR DOWN IN TEXAS: Debbie Watson was born in Oklahoma where she started playing piano at a young age. Later her family moved to Texas where she learned to play the fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Today, Debbie lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is now also a singer/songwriter. Watson's music is down-home country with shades of blue grass, rockabilly and swing. Debbie pens descriptive, personal lyrics that are often presented in three part harmonies. Her five song EP starts with the title song. It is a witty tale about Saturday nights in Texas and features animated, country instrumentation. Debbie jokes about her big hair but she has a big voice too. 'I Meant Every Word She Said' is a sad, sweet ballad of unrequited love enhanced by a slide guitar. 'My Baby Thinks I'm Just Right' is a spirited, female anthem about accepting oneself. 'Remember How To Pray' is a rich, reflective song about growing up in the church. The CD closes with a lovely tribute to her Nana and an unfulfilled dream. Debbie Watson brings fun and fervor to her unique brand of up-tempo country music!
• Recommended Tracks: (2) [USA/TN 2006 - web] (Review by Laura Turner Lynch for Kweevak.com)
- www.kweevak.com


Debbie Watson,"Big Hair Down in Texas" (Indie Release)
Equal parts western swing, country and rockabilly, Miss Watson would fit in perfectly opening for one of today’s top country stars or getting down with the likes of Southern Culture On The Skids. She’s a little bit Loretta Lynn and a little bit Wanda Jackson and a whole lot of woman. Well, any woman that can sing like this has to be a whole lot of woman, don’t you think?
Rating:
3 1/2 Stars
Review by J.R. Oliver , www.earcandymag.com.
- www.earcandymag.com


I Think You Are GREAT
Reviewer: Antonio Rosales
Debbie is fresh, exciting, and rockin’, not to mention talented. Loved all the songs on the CD. If you haven't seen this little lady live, you’re missing the point. Debbie is a mainstay and will be on Music Row doing her thing for a long time.
----- Antonio Rosales, President, Oklahoma Country Music Association. www.oklahomacma.com

Just one problem!!!
Reviewer: Bob A. Lou
Just one problem!!! It's too short. And the title cut "Big Hair Down In Texas" is addicting, and you have it playing in your head almost constantly. Eagerly looking forward to more from Miss Debbie.

I LOVED the CD. Great voice, big fun.
Reviewer: Elisa Negroni
Loved the CD. Loved the songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. I look forward to future ones.
- www.cdbaby.com


Discography

Big Hair Down In Texas - 5 song CD, released 2005

Radio Airplay:
Europe: Germany, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, France, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Croatia, Romania, The Netherlands, Japan.

Joe Baker's Backforty Bunkhouse Show, KNMB, 96.7FM, “New Mexico’s Bear,” and KWMW,105.1FM,”W-105” 6 To 10AM, Saturday mornings - Ruidoso, New Mexico.

We are also getting a good rotation in Lake Placid, Florida; Michigan, and Humble, TX.

“Texas Radio,” www.regiofm.info, Regio FM - The Netherlands

www.countrybear.com - Lake Placid, Florida

www.rucphen.fm Mondays 9:00 to 11:00 p.m - The Netherlands

Radio Columbia 106.9 FM Thursdays, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m - Belgium

CRDV RADIO/ RADIO ARVERNE - Chamalieres, France

Cosmic Cowboy Cafe, 2RRR 88.5FM - Sydney, Australia

Country DO Club, www.Radio3net.ro - Romania

Real Country Radio, www.live365.com/stations/uncle27389,
Lonestar Cafe Show (RTFM-J), Lonestar Cafe Club DJ Show, Weekly Country Flash (FMKASHI) - Japan

The Roy Cost Tuesday Radio Show, www.roycost.com - Conway, Arkansas

Charlie’s Country Sunshine, RKK 8:30-9:00am Sundays - Japan

Archangel’s Country Club - Austria

Photos

Bio

You can find more than just country music in a Texas honky-tonk on a Saturday night. There’s also beer, boots, belt buckles, and, of course, you’ve gotta have that Big Hair.

When Debbie Watson was a member of Houston’s Sugar Creek, a trio of honky-tonk angels, she saw a lot of big-haired honeys boot-scootin’ across the hardwood dance floor. And she also saw big hair when she looked in the mirror. “The girls in Sugar Creek used to go to the ladies’ room at the gigs, and we’d put on our makeup and tease our hair,” Debbie says. “It was completely natural for us. We used to say the higher the hair, the closer to God!”

One night she told fellow band member Monique Grezlik that she should write a song about big hair. Monique indeed wrote the song, and it eventually ended up as the title cut of Debbie Watson’s new CD, Big Hair Down In Texas. Debbie says she’s always worn her hair big, that it’s just who she is: the girl from Texas with big hair.

The girl from Texas now calls Music City her home. Back in 2000, Watson pulled into Nashville, Tennessee with her best girlfriend in the passenger seat, her cat and three dogs in the back, a trailer in tow, and her sister and nephew in a following car. She had no connections there, no plan, nothing but a desire to make her mark at the epicenter of country music. “I felt like I was really moving into a new chapter in my life,” she says. “I had a feeling of excitement and a sense of fulfilling a very, very, very old and familiar dream.”

Born in tiny Idabel, Oklahoma, Debbie says her fascination with music began early. “One of the earliest memories I have is, at the age of 5 or 6, sneaking into the next-door neighbor’s house and ‘playing’ their piano. I’d get a couple of minutes in before I got caught!” After her parents relented and bought Debbie her own piano, she got serious about music and songwriting, and has since learned to play guitar, mandolin, and fiddle.

Her family moved to Houston when she was 8, and growing up, she was exposed to their music. Her grandmother Pearl played fiddle, Uncle Willie played guitar and banjo—as well as playing and building fiddles – and her mother, aunt, and several cousins sing and play music too.

She started her singing career in a pizza parlor at age 17, and since then, she has performed steadily with many bands, including the female country trio, Sugar Creek. She even did a stint with an almost-all-attorney party band called the Ambulance Chasers, a nine-piece horn band that played Motown, soul, and R&B.

Debbie finally formed Debbie Watson and the Hot Watts, and they played the Houston circuit for several years. “Some of the best times of my life were spent making music with those guys,” she says. “I love the feeling of joining my energy with other musicians. It’s kind of cosmic.”

In 2000, Debbie left the band to make that trip to Nashville. Shortly after her arrival, she landed a gig at the World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and since then, she’s been a constant on the local music scene, performing with her own band and backing up friends like Robin Mink and Monique Grezlik, as well as Shane Sellers of “Matthew, Mark, Luke and Earnhardt” fame.

As accomplished as she is instrumentally, the diminutive singer stands tall because of her voice. Even bigger than her warm smile—and that jacked-up Saturday-night hair she sings about on the title track of her album, Big Hair Down in Texas—Watson’s voice is a precisely-tuned instrument that she uses to enthrall audiences, whether she’s crooning a sultry torch song or belting out a driving Texas Swing tune.

It’s a style that’s uniquely Debbie Watson. But ask the artist who she might remind you of, and she’ll mention Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, possibly Wanda Jackson (according to some), and “there might be a trace of Linda Ronstadt in there, too.”

All that time spent in Texas honky-tonks is paying off, because Debbie, who describes her music as “western swing meets bluegrass meets rockabilly,” has a knack for drawing in her audience. “I want people to have a lot of fun and feel like we’ve connected on some level, that we know a little bit about each other by the end of the evening,” she says. “And if they love my music too, well, that's a bonus!”

They do love her music, and as the fame and fan base of this petite singer with the Texas-sized voice continues to grow, she’s making all those Big-Haired, Lone Star ladies very, very proud.

Big Hair Down In Texas is available at www.debbiewatson.com.

Check out Debbie's MySpace page: www.myspace.com/debbiewatson