The music festival TakeRoot offers a surprising music tour through America. One moment you’re in a Blue Motel, where a lonely singer-songwriter pours all his sorrow into song and through paper-thin walls, the next you’re in a country barn filled with partying country lovers. Throughout the year SPOT Groningen organises TakeRoot Presents, a collaboration with other venues in Groningen, and tonight it’s VERA’s turn.

Although born in Alabama, Dale Watson is as Texas as the Panhandle or a smokey plate of BBQ. He came to country music early and naturally. His truck driving father moonlighted as a country singer, and his older brothers had bands as well. Dale remembers receiving his first guitar at age 7 and starting to write songs shortly after—“the same stuff I’m writing about now,” he says with a laugh.

A man with more than one life’s experience under his belt, he has entertained crowds all over the world, including appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. Dale has been inducted in the Austin Music Hall of Fame and even founded his own genre of music, Ameripolitan, to differentiate himself from the current crop of Nashville-based pop country.

Dale has flown the flag for classic honky-tonk for over two decades, may be the hardest working entertainer today and is rapidly approaching legendary status. He is a country music maverick, a true outlaw who stands alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.

Support Sunken Lands is a new Americana and alt-country outfit named after the reclaimed peatlands in Southeast Groningen and Drenthe. Their work falls somewhere between Waylon Jennings and Drive-By Truckers. In the spring of 2023, the band played their first show in de Amer (Amen), and their self-titled debut album was also released. Their music features “sad songs” performed by six musicians who have played with bands and artists such as Taneytown, Hannah Mae, Mooi Wark, Bertolf, Swinder, Slow Movin’ Outlaws, and many others.