It's hard to knock Dale Watson's latest album, Every Song I Write Is for You
. The person for whom every song on the record was written is Terri Herbert, Watson's fiancée, who was killed in a car accident in September 2000. The death devastated the man who gets more credit than anyone for keeping 1950s-style honky-tonk country music alive. It even pushed Watson to the brink of suicide. Pulled back from a rash act, Watson spilled his emotions onto wax. The tunes are not as weepy as you might think, but one has to wonder if Every Song
is what somebody coming home from a hard day's work wants to hear spinning on his CD carousel. So which Watson will the Beachland get on Saturday? A guy forcing a death vibe on listeners, or one who built a fan base via songs with titles like "Jake's Truck Stop & Cafe" and "Honkiest Tonkiest Beer Joint"? It will likely be some of each. Drinking, driving, and cheating songs are pretty good therapy as well.