8/17: Dale Watson at the Beachland

If you’re looking to hear traditional country music — the type played in roadhouses and truck stops from Bakersfield to Birmingham — then there might be no better place to go these days than a Dale Watson show. For more than 25 years, the Alabama-bred, Texas-raised honky-tonker has followed in the footsteps of Hank, Merle and Waylon, singing about drinkin’ & drivin’, lovin’ & losin’. His fine new outing, Truckin’ Sessions Volume II, finds him focusing on life on the road. Tunes like “Yankee Doodle Jean” or “Hey Driver” might sound like truck-stop kitsch if they were done by any other guy, but Watson brings a sense of hard-lived authenticity to his lean, mean road odes. The road, in fact, hasn’t always been kind to Watson. In 2000, his fiancée was killed in a car accident, which sent him into a near-fatal journey fueled by alcohol and drugs. Not only has he has survived the spinout, but he’s been on a creative roll ever since. In 2005, he was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and in 2007 he released the critically praised From the Cradle to the Grave, which was recorded in Johnny Cash’s old cabin. That Watson is still truckin’ and going strong is a testament to the man and his music. The doors open at 7 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets are $15. — Michael Berick

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