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Country Cuts

Submitted to MKOC By Vince Laus
October 4, 2001

Believe it or not, it was the first time ever that here, in Malta we had a country singer and his group from America. As I’ve been saying all along, the Country Music Appreciation Society is a non-profit making one and has to rely on other sources to get somebody big from the States. This happened on September 29th when honky tonk star, DALE WATSON & HIS LONESTARS visited our tiny island for what everybody called the "BIG COUNTRY NIGHT!!"

It was some time ago that Mr. Michael Macy from the American Embassy promised me he’d do something about getting country singers from abroad. That dream came true when Dale & his group were booked for the 29th September show. Arrangements were made, flights, hotel and booking. The society is grateful to Mr. Michael Macy, the American Embassy and Air Malta who supplied the flight tickets.

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Daphne and I together with Mr. Macy met Dale Watson and his Lonestars at the airport on Friday night/Saturday morning (00.30am) and had them transported to their hotel. We had coffee and a chat and met up again on Saturday morning for lunch and a sound check. The 500 who attended the country night held by the Country Music Appreciation Society (sorry, we couldn’t get anymore in), seemed anxious to see and hear one of country music’s most loved stars.

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Ricky Davis,
Lonestars' Steel
Guitar Player

The evening opened with local band The J.M.Cash Band who did a 55 minute spot followed by one Malta’s leading female singers, Marisa. Then the curtain opened for the guest of that night’s show, DALE WATSON & HIS LONESTARS who performed some real country music, old and new. The honky tonk sound of Dale could be heard by all. Starting off with Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”, he continued with some of his own songs, brilliantly sung and interpreted, backed by three guys who knew exactly what they were doing. Scott on drums gave us a great performance, James on bass guitar seemed very easy going and Ricky on the steel guitar was excellent. You see, we never had a steel guitarist here so we were thrilled to see and hear the sound of country music.

Dale seemed to know what those present wanted to hear apart from his vast repertoire. He went into some real golden oldies with “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again”, “Behind Closed Doors”, “Devil Woman”, “Return To Sender”, “Mama Tried” and many more. His first hour came to a halt and we had some dancing from the Ace Line Dance Company (Steve, Marie Angie, Denise & Lauren not forgetting their singer Manuel). Then came Dale’s second hour of good solid country music right up until 30 minutes past midnight. What a brilliant show. A country night to remember.

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We found the singer and his group very friendly, chatty and pleasant to talk to. I mustn’t forget the road manager, Donnie, who made sure that everything went well during the evening and the next morning when we all met for lunch together with Mr. Macy and his wife Meg and Mr. John Saliba and his wife of Air Malta. Then it was back to the airport at 2.00pm for Dale Watson & His Lonestars to catch the plane back to Paris. It was a memorable event for us. Good luck to all of you.

Vince Laus

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Dale's coin coated guitar

Dale Watson Official Site



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