Sat, June 11, Aaron Watson

The Stoney Inn, 7 p.m., $10

Stoney Inn/Rockin’ Rodeo

1320 Del Paso Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 927-6023

Aaron Watson’s another Texas country neo-traditionalist bending at the altar of honky-tonk and Bakersfield country, paying respect to Merle Haggard and George Jones. The former athlete’s smooth twang dovetails with songs about girls, cars, lonely nights, empty roads and unfulfilled dreams that typically prefer an upbeat two-step to waltzing ballads. He’s been prolific, releasing eight albums in the last dozen years, while tacking toward Nashville, Tenn., polishing away some of the dirt and saddle burrs in a bid for radio airplay. Though his sound’s turned more commercial, he remains skilled at a well-turned phrase and unpretentious earnestness. 1320 Del Paso Boulevard,