A man who has always gone out of his way to eschew Nashville, cult-loved Texas country singer Dale Watson will certainly be a long way from Music Row in his new record deal: He just signed with St. Paul's Red House Records. Known primarily as a folk label thanks to such flagship acts as Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka and co-founder Greg Brown, Red House has expanded its roster in recent years to include twangy rockers the Pines and Pieta Brown and rootsy blues artists such as Ray Bonneville and Hot Tuna. The label also recently signed local starlet Andra Suchy (of Hookers & Blow notoriety).

Watson is far and away the most tried-and-true authentic country player ever to sign with Red House. He seems like a good fit, though: He regularly treks to the Twin Cities to play Lee's Liquor Lounge (which he wrote a song about), and he has also played the Minnesota State Fair and Red House's virtual radio affiliate, "A Prairie Home Companion." And he should be right at home performing at Red House's annual Barnfest next year, since he also regularly plays Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, Texas -- home of the famous "Chicken Sh** Bingo" (in which live chickens pick the numbers with their excrement; I wish I could deny that's true, but I've actually seen it).

Watson will drop his first record for Red House on Oct. 11, titled "The Sun Sessions" and obviously a tribute to Sun Records. Sounds like a great match-up all around.