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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

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 »»»
The Underdog CD review - The Underdog
It's been a long road, but 12 albums and 15 years later, Texas country singer Aaron Watson has finally arrived. Until his debut with Big Label/Thirty Tigers, Watson worked as a totally independent artist; even then, though, other Texas artists, from Willie Nelson and Dale Watson to Billy Joe Shaver, recognized his talent and collaborated with him. "The Underdog" debuted atop the country charts; Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, George Jones, Zac Brown Band) produced and the songs range »»»
Real Good Time
Aaron Watson kicks off his latest with a high speed fiddle driven song that is perfect for two stepping at the local country hall on a summer Saturday night. The following track, Summertime Girl, would fit nicely on mainstream country next to a laid back Jake Owen song. These two songs represent the two distinct musical personas that Watson assumes on this album. He alternates between radio friendly country music and more traditional country music and somehow manages to make the 18 tracks meld »»»
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: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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