JIMMIE DALE GILMORE/DALE WATSON
Fans of Dale Watson and Jimmie Dale Gilmore love them in part for their understanding, appreciation, and acknowledgment of country’s classic roots. Both sprinkle a few covers into every performance, but the same genuine country spirit is inherent even in their decidedly unrevivalist originals. This double bill provides a rare opportunity to see how deep they can dip into country’s big song bag: audience members can submit requests as they enter the club. Watson will kick the evening off, backed by his crack trio the Lone Stars. On his latest album, The Truckin’ Sessions (Koch), he delivers a rousing set of–you guessed it–trucker songs, writing in the liner notes: “Drivers: I’m no trucker, but after haulin’ my butt all over this country, and other countries, I sure do have a lot of respect for your job.” Watson covers all the standard concerns: longing for home as the eyes glaze over (“Big Wheels Keep Rollin'”), the necessity of coffee (“Help Me Joe”), CB-radio romance (“Have You Got It On,” which includes the lines “You smile at me / From the side view mirror / We might be closer / Than we appear”), and mechanical troubles (“Flat Tire”). The Lone Stars, who keep things remarkably crisp and tight, will also back Gilmore for this show, and it should be exciting to hear the Texas bard free of the Lanoisification producer T-Bone Burnett gave the songs on 1996’s Braver Newer World (Elektra). Gilmore has included a radically reworked country gem or two on each of his albums–his 1993 take on Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” is particularly memorable–but his straight treatments of a couple of Lefty Frizzell tunes on the Traveller sound track prove he’ll have no trouble with this seat-of-the-pants arrangement. Saturday, 10 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Dale Watson & Jimmie Dale Gilmore photo by Todd V. Wolfson.