Roadside Dog

The Music of

Steve Watkins

Songs 3 (1987-present)

Songs 3
In 1987 I moved from Santa Cruz to San Diego to attend grad school at UCSD.
One of the first things I did after finding a room to rent was to look for a band.
I found some undergrads who wanted to play classic rock and needed a guitar player.
That band was Strange Brew. We played local clubs and sometimes the pub at UCSD.
Chris was our drummer in Strange Brew, and he is our drummer today in the Railheads.
So I've been playing with Chris about 25 years.
The other founder of Strange Brew was Rick, the bass player.
He was a Brit who was raised in the US, and we had very similar musical tastes.
He later moved to Northern California, and then unexpectedly died at the young age of 30.
He had a heart defect that had gone completely undetected.
His death was a shock. I still can't believe he's gone. He lives on in my head and heart.
That kind of thing helps you live each day as if it might be your last.
The songs in this section are the most recent songs that I've written.
I've pretty much stopped writing new songs,
mostly because I've said most of what I've wanted to say.
I did write a couple new songs on a trip to Ohio, West Virgina and Virginia in 2010
(Ode to the Wright Brothers and Big Branch Mining Disaster).
The Railheads are my most recent band connection.
See this Railheads link on Reverb Nation:
Bill Gardner and I co-founded the band in 2003 and the main lineup was:
Bill on guitar and vocals, Luke Barrington on guitar and vocals,
Chris Nesbet on drums, Murray Officer on bass and Bob Higgins on vocals.
Others who played in the band off and on: Carol Gardner, Ken Lazarus, Rob Mendes,
Reggie Sledge, Rachelle Danto, Anne-Marie McNerney, Linley Young and Andy Montiero.
We recorded 3 CD's: On Track, Rock and Roots. On Track was kind of clunky because
we mostly used a drum machine. We released Rock and Roots on CD Baby and iTunes.
The band stopped performing in 2010 when Bill and Carol moved to Charlottesville VA,
but we never really broke up. We still jam when Bill makes it back to California or when
others make it out to Charlottesville.
The Charlottesville Sessions
I recorded the following three songs in Charlottesville, Virgina, in early summer of 2012.
Carol and Bill Gardner sang backup vocals. Pete Vigour played fiddle and
Ken Lazarus helped with the engineering.  
What’s Going On? (Not Marvin Gaye's song)
I wanted to write a song that was emotional, really simple and inspired by MoTown.
This is it.
Lovely Woman Child
For women over 30.


Paradise Lost, West Virginia
(Kayford Mountain Top Removal and Other Coal Mining Tales)

This song was inspired by John Prine's Paradise.

I wrote this for the 29 miners who died in the Big Branch Mine explosion in

Raleigh Country, West Virgina on April 5, 2010.
I also wrote it for the people in West Virginia who are fighting Mountain Top Removal mining.
You have to visit a place like Kayford Mountain to understand what Mountain Top Removal
mining is doing to the environment.
Checkout the Keeper of the Mountains folks in West Virgina:
Back on the Street Again iTunes

The Railheads: Bill Gardner, Carol Gardner, Luke Barrington, Chris Nesbet,

Murray Officer, Bob Higgins and Ken Lazarus
I play the game that never ends, I look around and I pretend I'm not watching you so carefully.

Leave this Rock and Roll Behind iTunes

The Railheads

Kind of a protest song.


The Railhead of Waco iTunes
The Railheads

This song was inspired Michael Burton's Night Rider's Lament

as performed by Jerry Jeff Walker.

Waco wasn't actually a railhead, but I liked the sound of Waco.

Somehow our San Diego bar band was named after this song.



Do You See? iTunes
The Railheads

Another protest song.


Ode to the Wright Brothers Sketch


I was inspired to write this song after spending an afternoon at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field

near Fairborn, Ohio. This is where the Wright Brothers actually learned to fly.
I was the only one at this historical site, and it felt kind of magical.
Statesboro Blues by Blind Willie McTell Sketch
Stormy Monday by T-Bone Walker Sketch
I didn't write these two songs, but I've been playing them a lot lately.
I really like the backing tracks, so I included them.
Gregorian Chant: Puer Natus Est Nobis from the Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos 
Gregorian Mass of Christmas Day.
One of the Gregorian Chants that I've been listening to.