Ball of Wax 39 Songs: Doby Watson – Pickup

Doby Watson is an artist I’ve known about for a decade or so, from back when he used to go by the name Boo Hiss and release music on Tract Records (like this and a split EP with the mighty, departed Grumpy BearTyler and Latney foreva!) [Not to mention his appearance way back on Ball of Wax 3, which we’ll be digging up from the archives soon. -ed]. While seemingly a bedroom indie folk-ish artist, he hustled with Boo Hiss and got his name out there a bit. I saw Doby on tour while I was living in Austin (at Beerland I think) and may have even reviewed something of his on some long gone website/blog or another. Until Levi sent me over this track from Ball of Wax 39, though, I’d pretty much lost track of Doby Watston. I’m happy to hear that he’s still making music and has developed a bunch  since his days of lo fi releases on homemade CDR labels (which is what hip kids in the ’00s did before they decided to do lo fi homemade cassette releases again).

“Pick Up” is really straight ahead country music, the kind I might normally tune out for its strict orthodoxy (I’m a yankee with more occidental tastes, sorry country dudes).  But the sparse arrangement and Doby’s strong, clear voice pulled me in, which is a good thing because the opening line is a killer. If you’re going to write a sad love song in a traditionalist county music style, do yourself a favor and start it with lyrics as good as “I don’t often place / my hand on your thigh / but you know when I do / that I’m about to lie.” “Pickup” is a really strong, really compelling song. Not normally my bag, but like Robert Ellis’ best stuff, I can totally get on board with contemporary country ballads done this well.

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3 Responses to Ball of Wax 39 Songs: Doby Watson – Pickup

  1. Great to hear you’re still at it. Does any one know what became of Thomas, the man who ran Tract? I had some albums out with them as well a decade ago and I sorta lost touch with him. Thanks in advance and all the best.

  2. Jon Rooney says:

    Hey Derek – I have no idea about Thomas from Tract. Like other homemade CDR labels (Asuarus, KEEP, Yellow Mica) it seems to have disappeared into the blogosphere of the late-00’s. I found this cool little profile from probably 15 years ago:

  3. Tyler Blake says:

    Derek- Hey. Still toss the My Strength is Hatred 10″ on the old phonograph regularly.

    Hope you are doing well. I happened upon Thomas on Facebook a while back, but I hardly am ever on, so I am not 100% sure he’s still there.

    That late-aughts home made music revolution was a really special time for me (although it is partly narcissistic, cause I was a very minor participant, but it is mostly because some amazing people put a huge amount of time, love, and talent into making and releases some stunning music). It really mirrors some of the best of the private press LPs that are getting so much attention these days. Sometime in the future there will be a cult around those homemade CDR labels and reissues galore (or so I hope).

    Viva Ball of Wax!

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