MP3 Debbie Watson - Big Hair Down In Texas
A hilarious song about that most famous Texas institution. Western swing meets rockabilly meets bluegrass, in three-part harmony.
5 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, COUNTRY: Western Swing
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 https://www.tradebit.com.