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. "Lonely Lonestar Christmas" is a kind of new take on "Blue Christmas" story, while "She Stared At Him All Night" is a moody, Mother Mary meditation in the mold of "Mary Did You Know." Watsons sings the latter with sincere feeling. It's a song that can double as a worship song, which all truly great Christmas songs do.
Although the rest of these tunes will be played-out for most of us before we even make it to Dec. 25th, Watson's traditional country takes make them surprisingly enjoyable. Even his billionth version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" is a pleasure. Additionally, hearing real, downhome fiddle on "The Christmas Waltz" is a true treat.
Watson's one of the last of the real deal country artists, and "An Aaron Watson Family Christmas" is filled with all the traditional consistency we've come to expect from the man. With his kids on these tracks, Watson adds a large dosage of sweetness to his healthy musical meal.