Chris Watson is back two years after his debut Just for Show with the solid sophomore release Pleasure and Pain. Chris has been around the Texas music scene since he was a young kid and it shows. This album consists of 12 tracks with 9 originals that display a mix of everything that makes up that brew called Texas blues.
Chris exhibits his songwriting abilities while singing about one of the foundations of the Blues – Love. During “Happiest Day of My Life,” a song about getting dumped for the wrong reasons, you can visualize a group boot scootin’ on the country bar dance floor as Eric “Scorch” Scortia bangs away on a great piano solo. “Don’t Turn Around” is a fast paced rockin’ track about breaking up on purpose that permits Chris to stretch out and play a great solo. Add to that Bobby Womak’s “Check It Out” done up with a dose of funky rhythm in the style of the late Sean Costello’s cover of the tune, and you have a pretty good base to build on.
“Heartache” is a slow blues with some additional horns. Chris covers the traditional standard “Going Home” with some great background singers. Meanwhile “She’s Wild” has a solid soul feel. All three tracks demonstrate Chris’ soulful voice and some tastefully restrained poignant solos.
“Mama Told Me” is a hard charging rocker that has some masterful solo work. The title track “Pleasure and Pain” starts out with a rhythm guitar groove that evokes Robert Cray’s “Phone Booth” but evolves into Chris’s own track after listening to the solo. A funky grove is evident on a another cover of Sean Costello’s – “Hard Luck Woman” and again on the opening track “Heart On My Sleeve.”
Pleasure and Pain is a good CD that features some well written tracks combined with talented guitar work and soulful vocals. It hits all the necessary points to be a good album and you’ll be hard pressed not to move your foot as you play it from end to end.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Happiest Day of My Life
- Mama Told Me
- She’s Wild
- Don’t Turn Around
The Big Hit
- Mama Told Me
Review by Kevin O’Rourke