Sign up for newsletter
 

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

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 »»»
Vaquero CD review - Vaquero
Independent singer/songwriter Aaron Watson's "Vaquero" is an ambitious 16-song mix of Texas country and mainstream Nashville with mostly good results. The strongest tracks are those that embrace the Tex Mex style of the title track, which imparts some sound advice delivered by an "old Mexican cowboy" the singer meets in a bar ("He said don't leave your beer in the hot Texas Sun/ Don't argue with a woman while she's holding a gun" and »»»
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: Lane, Ramsey, Barrett cover their bases – Covers played a far more prominent role than usual at a country show. And instead of what is typically the least course of resistance in recent years of country artists succumbing to their renditions of a rock hit, Chris Lane, Mason Ramsey and Gabby Barrett played songs that actually were country hits. Interestingly, the youngest of the bunch, Ramsey,... »»»
Concert Review: Mumford and Sons up to snuff, for the most part – Mumford and Sons have always played it smart when it has come to career moves. They have not overtoured by becoming regular fixtures on the touring circuit. Their M.O. is to tour just enough upon an album release and then disappear for a stretch. Ditto for releasing new music ("Delta" just came out last month, Mumford's first release... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Taylor uncovers the past, offering new perspectives Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Woven Waters CD review - Woven Waters
Tellico hails from that bastion of bluegrass and hybrid bluegrass, Asheville, N.C. to deliver its sophomore album "Woven Waters.'' This effort melds their rather inherent bluegrass affinities with British Isle influences,  »»»
Christmas Everywhere CD review - Christmas Everywhere
Rodney Crowell's "Christmas Everywhere" is a (mostly) melancholy collection of songs, with Christmas time as its setting. It's a strong set of carefully worded tunes, set to widely varying musical backings.  »»»
The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
Blackberry Smoke's "The Southern Ground Sessions" EP is five versions of songs from the band's recent "Find a Light" album, along with a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which also features vocalist/violinist Amanda Shires. »»»
Hard Times and White Lines CD review - Hard Times and White Lines
Whitey Morgan's fourth studio release exhibits the singer/songwriter's reverence for outlaw country and southern rock. The influence of Hank Williams, Jr. is evident on the opening "Honky Tonk Hell" with lyrics that »»»
Live at the Ryman CD review - Live at the Ryman
Jason Isbell didn't record this live effort at The Ryman Auditorium as a gesture to be country music's savior at The Mother Church of Country Music. The Alabama native's music is country-adjacent at best, more than it is »»»
The Place That You Call Home CD review - The Place That You Call Home
The unusual name Ever More Nest is the project name for New Orleans-based, Shreveport, La.- raised singer-songwriter Kelcy Wilburn (aka Kelcy Mae). She has the poet's gift for lyrics and an engaging, lovely voice.  »»»