Critic's Pick: Dale Watson and Ray Benson Join Forces for Sheldon Debut This Wednesday


  • Photo by Lisa Pollard

Deep in the heart of Texas are two of the deepest, warmest baritone singers you'll hear this side of an Ernest Tubb 78. Dale Watson and Ray Benson have been crossing honky tonk paths for decades, the former as one of Merle Haggard's foremost acolytes and the latter as Bob Wills' greatest champion. In early 2017, the two will release their first album together, Dale & Ray, which honors those influences through original duets on the inexhaustible themes of drinking, dancing, crying and being hungover. Their command of the wittiest and swinging-est country traditions is as bottomless as their voices.

Take This Music Industry Model and Shove It: Watson and Benson cover "Write Your Own Songs," a classic Music Row kiss-off first cut by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. It's still timely.

Watch the duo perform "Take Me Back to Tulsa" below:

Dale Watson and Ray Benson
8 p.m. Wednesday, January 18. The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard. $35 to $25. 314-533-9900.