Evan Watson: Midnight Oil Review

On his first full-length album since 2009’s A Town Called Blue, singer/guitarist Evan Watson unleashes a collection of songs that showcase his remarkable skills not only with his instruments of choice, but on each note played and produced on the record. After experimenting with recording and producing as a solo artist on his 2011 EP South, Watson launches into Midnight Oil as a studio professional with a trove full of stories and a sound drenched in the sweet blend of blues and Americana roots.

Kings, vagabonds, and even the Devil himself make appearances on the record, making it a star-studded project from start to finish. Watson doesn’t hesitate to exercise his creativity in the lyrics: by utilizing familiar archetypes at the core of his narratives, Watson is able to manipulate the limits of lyrical content and make each recognizable person, place and struggle a reflection of his own experiences. Opening with a tale as old as time, Midnight Oil dives into ancient biblical waters in “Eden Creek,” revitalizing the infamous incident between Adam and “little Miss Eve,” who “thinks nothing can harm her / ‘Cause she got the blood of a snake charmer.” A lonely narrator begs King Midas for a reprieve in “King Midas,” the Devil searches for an empty seat on the long road to Sin City in “The Devil’s Hitchhiking to Vegas,” and the angel of Gabriel stops by at the end to make sense of it all in “Gabriel’s Angel.” Standing between the towering figures in these songs are tracks like “California Blue” and “The Hem of Your Dress,” stylistic numbers that respectfully bring forth lyrical imagery and gentle acoustic waves to contrast the intricate narratives woven into earlier songs.

Watson has been turning heads since his 2009 debut with the Headless Horseman, his backing band at the time, and has continued to make a name for himself by touring with hard rock artist Meat Loaf, having songs featured in network television shows, and constantly honing his craft as a solo artist. With Midnight Oil, Watson reaches back in time to history’s favorite fables, putting a modern spin on the familiar with a nod to the past and his own foresight into the future of the blues.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– King Midas
– Vagabond
– California Blue
– Gabriel’s Angel

The Big Hit

– Vagabond

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Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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4 Responses to “Evan Watson: Midnight Oil Review”

  1. Danny Watson says:

    Love the new sample of “Vagabond”. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the tracks tomorrow when I log on to I Tunes to buy em’ all!

  2. Vera Hes says:

    I like what I am hearing very well. Different styles and very good performed. Like his voice, never heard from him over here in Holland, but I will buy this if possibe, because as A DJ you must have ist.
    Go one like this and a lot of succes.

  3. Leo Groeneveld says:

    Very good cd.
    Nice voice, reminds me a little of the singer of Gomez.

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