Country Mike

Barbed Wire Halo

Mike Sudhalter  |  May 29, 2007

Ever since I was introduced to Texas Country Music last summer, Aaron Watson has been one of my favorite artists of any country subgenre.

His latest album is a gospel one, and there's a lot of good material on it. Watson combines traditional gospel songs like "Amazing Grace" with original material like "Barbed Wire Halo", the title cut of the album.

I don't usually listen to gospel music, instead preferring straight-ahead country.

But One of my favorite things about Watson is his ability as a storyteller, whether he's singing country, gospel or western swing. He definitely tells a great one in "Halo" about the deacon of his church and what he meant to him.

He talks about the tragedy early in the deacon's life and what he meant as a pillar to the community, and to Watson. It's inspiring to listen to a story about a person like Deacon Shackelford, who managed to find meaning in his life despite an unimaginable tragedy of losing both his wife and child while he was overseas at war.

I don't know if it's based on a true story, but regardless, I was moved by listening to Watson singing it. It showed the versatile entertainer's sensitive side. You can cry one minute listening to "Halo" and then laugh about one of us other great songs like the rousing "Heyday Tonight" or "Diesel Driving Daddy".

I recently found an acoustic version of Watson - just him and his guitar - on video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.