Debra Watson and the Smokin’ Aces play an eclectic mix of rockin’ blues, retro-swing, jump blues, rockabilly, and western swing. Watson brings heart to ballads with her rich sensuous vocals, and the groove of the band’s Retro-Swing numbers is driven by Watson’s soulful emotion. In up-tempo rockin’ blues and rockabilly, Watson’s native Texas sass is loose and spirited/unmistakable.
Watson started the original Smokin’ Aces band in Los Angeles before she moved back to Austin 9 years ago for family reasons, but she continues to play in both states. In Texas, Watson has formed a tight group of stellar Austin based musicians that are the core of her Smokin’ Aces here. These musicians already had a history playing together in respectable Austin bands and as individuals, the Smokin’ Aces musicians have shared the stage with or opened for such luminaries as WCClark, John Lee Hooker, Tai Mahal, Diana Ross, Julian Lennon, Kevin Fowler, Memphis Train, Junior Medlow, Bobby Blues Band, Ponty Bone, Eric Johnson, James Cotton, Brian Seltzer, George Thorogood, Robert Cray and Merle Haggard.
Debra Watson and Yellow Roses Productions has released three Cds with the Smokin’ Aces, the first two with her L.A. based band (Come Dance with Me and That’s Right), and the most recent, Boogie My Blues Away with her Austin band at DoubleDog Recording Studio in Round Rock, Tx. Debra began her musical career writing jingles and performing in the well known Austin comedy sketch troupe, Esther Follies. Later she co-founded Better Than TV Players and produced and performed in over 100 shows in 3 years in Austin. During her years in Los Angeles, Debra pursued her acting career with various roles in independent films and TV. She also found her calling as an acting coach, and helped launch the careers of many young gifted actors, including Mila Kunis. As a singer, she became a featured vocalist and sang with many of the Swing and Jump Blues bands in the Southern California area. The Smokin’ Aces have played at the world famous Derby, Lunaria Supper Club, and her very favorite, Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill among many other LA hot spots. She continues to consistently draw a lively crowd of regular fans at Joes’ and other Los Angeles places when she returns every year.
Joining Watson on stage at the Port A Music Festival will be Austinites, Phil Chidester on keyboard, Paul Haake on guitar and vocals, Russell K Shores, on bass, Mike Kosacek on drums, and her sister, Dayna Culwell, on harmonies. Debra Watson & the Smokin Aces has rockin energy with a heaping spoonful of Texas Sass that will make you want to get off your chair and dance!