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 Bear – Tyler 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.