Dale Watson is a fearless Texas singer/ songwriter/guitarist with a strong reverence for retro country and drinkin' songs, blended with a rebel spirit and tattooed-rocker mentality.

Dale Watson is a fearless Texas singer/ songwriter/guitarist with a strong reverence for retro country and drinkin' songs, blended with a rebel spirit and tattooed-rocker mentality. Watson and his crack outfit rip through 20 real country songs, including the pining tip of the hat "Real Country Song" and pulsing "Legends (What If . . .)." "Can't Be Satisfied" is a Waylon-esque twangfest, and then "Heart of Stone" and the gorgeous "I Hate These Songs" are languid roadhouse lounge. When Watson steps outside his own stellar material, he opts for such writers as Jimmie Rodgers, Merle Haggard, and John R. Cash, and does them proud. He shifts into contemporary country butt-kickin' mode with "Nashville Rash" and a pissed-off "Country My Ass" (with Hank III) and pours more heart into a four-song encore than some acts do into a career. Some may think he's caught in a time-warp, but he is absolutely one bad-ass country singer.—RW