Dale Watson has a lot in common with Johnny Cash. He dresses in black, sings in a deep baritone, and writes cautionary tunes about killing bad men while wearing a smile. Watson's latest album, From the Cradle to the Grave, features a striking black-and-white cover shot of the 46-year-old Austin-based singer-songwriter standing in a cemetery, next to a headstone that reads "Country Music R.I.P." Watson's own brand of country music reaches way back to the wide-open '60s, when Cash would spice up a tune with mariachi horns and hard-living guys would write songs about trains. Watson does both on Cradle, which should set the course of his Beachland gig this week.
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