“Without the darkness I doubt you’d see the stars,” says East Nashville songwriter Chris Watts. From suffering a gunshot wound as a Louisiana National Guardsman on Hurricane Katrina duty to cutting his teeth at the raucous honky-tonks of Music City’s Broadway Ave., the Louisiana native has certainly seen both.
Watts incorporates this bent-but-not-broken ethos into his own brand of Deep South Americana music. Southern-fried in hardship and hope, Watts sets equal parts country, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll to the backdrop of the swampy Louisiana backroads he grew up on. The end result hits the palate like a cold mint julep on a sticky day: earthy, fun, and bittersweet.
Watts has shared his Deep South Americana on prominent stages across the country, including Asheville’s Isis Theater, the Key West Songwriter’s Festival, House of Blues New Orleans, AMA Americanafest in Nashville, Music City’s historic Exit/In, City Winery, and the world-famous listening room Bluebird Café. He’s opened for internationally touring acts ranging from Sammy Kershaw to Snoop Dogg, and his songs have appeared on some of America’s most acclaimed terrestrial radio stations, including WWOZ New Orleans and WSM Nashville, home of the Grand Ole Opry.
His debut EP ‘The God’s Own Truth’ was named “Best of 2016” (The Revue). He will release the rock guitar-driven ‘American Kind,’ the first single from his debut full-length solo album, in early 2018. “Watts sings in the title track ‘I may never be Bob Dylan,’ but he has a knack for melody, lyrics, and truth that shows promise as an artist coming into his own.” (No Depression).