A regular on the Grand Ole Opry and the Austin, Texas, honky-tonk scene, Dale Watson is such a Bakersfield-sound purist that he posed with a gravestone reading "COUNTRY MUSIC R.I.P." on the cover of 2007's From the Cradle to the Grave, and recorded in Johnny Cash's old Tennessee mountain retreat (at the urging of pal Johnny Knoxville, who directed and starred in the video for "Hollywood Hillbilly"). You don't have to buy into Watson's ethos to admire his form: "Justice for All," with a classic video on YouTube, is both uncannily retro and gracefully, powerfully contemporary in its ambiguous death-penalty narrative. Watson has the Mount Rushmore-sized voice of a sterner Conway Twitty without gravel, authentic enough to pull off a collection of trucker anthems on his latest from Hyena, 2009's The Truckin' Sessions Vol. 2, including a "Convoy"-funky tribute to a cross-dressing OKC driver in "Truckin' Queen." With Javier Trejo. (Photo by Jack Newton)
Fri., Jan. 15, 9 p.m., 2010
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