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Watson follows tough act, his own

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – Aaron Watson has a tough act to follow when he releases "Vaquero" in late February.

That's because his 2015 disc, "The Underdog," was an indie release that hit number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, marking the first time an independent, male country artist had ever debuted at the top spot.

"Vaquero" is a 16-song collection from the Texan with hard-driving fiddle, songs for two-stepping, and Tejano influences. Watson co-produced Marshall Altman. Watson wrote or co-wrote all of the songs with collaborators including Mac McAnally and Leslie Satcher.

"I've always considered myself an anti-rock star," Watson said. "People don't like me because I'm a rock star. People like me because I'm just like them."

Watson, 39, has released a dozen albums. Watson was sitting at his kitchen table as his wife Kim scrambled eggs when he got the call that "The Underdog" had debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. "We started jumping around and squealing like kids," he said. "It was a beautiful moment because I got to share it with the girl who believed in me when I was broke and playing some pawnshop guitar. It is something I'll never forget."

"Once we dried the tears of joy, it hit me," Watson said. "I had my work cut out for me for my next album."

Watson committed to waking up every morning to write songs on the same old pawnshop guitar he scored 20 years ago. "I bet you I couldn't get $50 for that guitar," he said. "But it means the world to me." He penned songs in the back of a bus on the highway, too, as the band spent the last 2 years playing more than 35 states and 6 countries.

In writing the new album, Watson felt especially drawn to the idea of the vaquero, the original Spanish horseman that set the foundation for the North American cowboy, a solitary figure

"This is the first album I've ever made where if it's the last album I ever make, I could be content with that," Watson said.

The album closes with "Diamonds & Daughters." Two years ago, his then four-year-old daughter asked him to write her a song for his next record. "I thought it sure would be special if I could write her a song right now that we could dance to at her wedding someday," he said.

More news for Aaron Watson

CD reviews for Aaron Watson

Red Bandana CD review - Red Bandana
The opening track to Aaron Watson's "Red Bandana" double album is "The Ghost of Guy Clark," and it's an appropriate way to kick things off. The legendary songwriter's spirit hands the narrator, Watson, a guitar and asks him to play a song. After just a couple lines, Clark stops him cold, saying "I think I've heard enough of that. When you've heard one, you've heard them all," It's probably exactly how a meeting with the spirit of an »»»
An Aaron Watson Family Christmas CD review - An Aaron Watson Family Christmas
When Aaron Watson titled his holiday album "An Aaron Watson Family Christmas," he wasn't kidding about the "family" part. Although his children - Jake, Jack and Jolee - are advertised as making cameo appearances, they're actually an essential part. "Christmas Time Is Here," for example, is an all-kids rendition. Watson's kids give this album special charm, while his singing and playing bring the traditional skill. This album includes a couple of new songs. »»»
Live at the World's Largest Rodeo Show CD review - Live at the World's Largest Rodeo Show
Listening to a concert album can never completely replicate experiencing an artist in person, but Aaron Watson's "Live at The World's Biggest Rodeo Show" comes close. Watson performs these 14 songs with such enthusiasm, it's tough to avoid getting caught up in his jubilant celebration. He covers a lot of lyrical ground, expressing patriotism with both "Raise Your Bottle" and "They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To," love of family with »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile takes her chances on feeling "Blue" – During a rare moment sitting at the piano and appropriately dressed in blue, Brandi Carlile paraphrased a memorable Joni Mitchell quote. Basically, it went that, if you listen to Joni Mitchell music and only picture Mitchell - but not yourself - something is wrong. While Carlile, who performed Mitchell's "Blue" album in its entirety for... »»»
Concert Review: The Head and the Heart go beyond the nah nahs – "Nah nah," "la la" and "Wee oh" populated a number of songs from The Head and the Heart. Yes, the Seattle-based band does pen a good amount of sing-along songs that were clearly designed that way. And while that style can certainly engage and energize a crowd, there was more to that from the sextet.... »»»
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