Dale Watson

Ask any of the truckers who have run into him along the highways, or any of the musicians who join him in the honky-tonks of Austin and you'll likely receive confirmation of why Dale Watson has been granted the nickname of "The Real Deal."

Whereas many neo-traditional country acts in the past couple of decades have sung about trucking and life on the open road, the Austin-based Watson has kept it decidedly real. In addition to releasing albums filled with trucker-intensive tunes (2009's Trucking Sessions, Volume II is the most recent), Watson also performs shows at selected truck stops. So, yes, his bond with the trucking community is as sturdily forged as the chrome that adorns the Mack-labeled beasts of the interstate.

Simply partying with a few truckers isn't enough for Watson, though. This moonshine aficionado, who has made an inspirational comeback from a nervous breakdown and even created his own sub-genre of country music (Ameripolitan), has more pressing issues at hand, especially on Sunday afternoons in the capital city, where he regularly presides over a bingo game that is predicated on where a chicken takes a shit.

That's all when he isn't promoting his new record, Carryin' On, of course.

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Kelly Dearmore