Dale Watson is fervently dedicated to real country music, the stuff with rugged vocals, chugging rhythms, and major doses of fiddle and pedal steel—definitely not that slick, pop-soaked pap mainstream Nashville so often covets. A prolific and excellent songwriter, Watson's natural milieu (a word he'd probably never dream of using) is a 1950s or '60s honky tonk, his ace band spinning out driving songs about the road, or waxing philosophic in his rumbling baritone about the nature of good and evil in the spirit of Johnny Cash. Watson's latest, The Truckin' Sessions Vol. 2, is a collection of classic-sounding, all-original trucker tunes that easily slip in among the best of the genre. There's a tear-jerker ("Let This Trucker Go"), western swing ("Texas Boogie"), the Bakersfield sound ("Truck Stop in LaGrange"), even a bit of comic relief in "Truckin' Queen," in which the title character offsets his scruffy beard with "a negligee with red lamé." So if you got a hankerin' for gen-u-wine hard country, get it in gear and truck on down to Lee's. With Chris Brooks and the Silver City Boys.
Sat., July 3, 9 p.m., 2010