"I lie when I drink, and I drink a lot" sings Dale Watson on the opening cut of El Rancho Azul, an album he recorded with his road band, The Lonestars. The set ends with "Thanks to Tequila," and scattered throughout the album are tracks like "I Drink to Remember," "Drink Drink Drink," and "I Hate to Drink Alone." So it shouldn't be hard to imagine the uncompromising honky-tonk country that accompanies these songs. Dale Watson has been recording for nearly 20 years, and he's stuck with hardcore traditional country and western music. He's chosen Texas over Nashville—despite the commercial riches that might await him if he'd go mainstream. The good news is that he has the musical and writing chops to make his music stand out beyond mere traditionalism. Pedal steel, fiddle, piano, and his ringing Telecaster guarantee that songs like "Cowboy Boots," "Quick Quick Slow Slow," and "Give Me More Kisses" capture the spirit of genuine country music of the '50s and '60s. "Daughter's Wedding Song" even tugs at the heartstrings in a most personal way.