Aaron Watson





























Aaron Watson
Aaron Watson Video


Aaron Watson isn’t interested in what someone else thinks he should do. But instead of getting lonely as he sidesteps expectations, he’s gaining followers––hundreds of thousands of them. Delivered with a warm smile and fueled by a wild spirit, Watson’s rebellion echoes the land that helped make him.

Watson remains strikingly similar to the people that still dot his native West Texas. They’re a rugged people, proud of home but humble and hardworking, the first to help a neighbor but also fiercely independent. And Watson is unquestionably one of them.

“I’ve always considered myself an anti-rock star,” Watson says, his drawl cracking slightly as he grins. “People don’t like me because I’m a rock star. People like me because I’m just like them.”

Throughout his 17-year career that spans a dozen albums and more than 2,500 shows throughout the U.S. and Europe, 39-year-old Watson has stubbornly and sincerely identified with the everyman––even as he’s proven to be the exception to the rule.

The latest evidence of Watson’s homespun singularity is Vaquero, an ambitious 16-song set of character-driven storytelling, level-headed cultural commentary, and love songs for grown-ups that promise to further solidify his status as one of today’s finest torch-bearers of real country music.

Vaquero is the follow-up to 2015’s The Underdog, an acclaimed collection that also made history. Watson was sitting at his kitchen table as his wife Kim scrambled eggs when he got the call: The Underdog had debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. It was the first time an independent, male country artist had ever outsold majors to premiere at the top spot. “We started jumping around and squealing like kids,” he says. “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.” That momentous instant also arrived with a built-in challenge. “Once we dried the tears of joy, it hit me,” Watson says. “I had my work cut out for me for my next album.”

Determined, Watson committed to waking up every morning before the sun rose to write songs on that same old pawnshop guitar he scored 20 years ago. “I bet you I couldn’t get $50 for that guitar,” he says. “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 two years playing more than 35 states and six countries.

The result is Vaquero, a bold album that confidently draws from Texas’ storied musical melting pot: dancehall shuffles, dustbowl narratives, Tejano, and more fill the record.

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 with a legendary work ethic. Watson is a modern-day vaquero––he just gets up at 5 a.m. to wrangle songs instead of cattle. And while he won’t deny the pressure he felt following his last album’s success, outside barometers can’t compel him to change who he is or what he writes. Watson is Watson, chart-topping record or not.

“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 says of Vaquero.

One listen and it’s easy to understand why. Album opener “Texas Lullaby” pays lilting homage both to home and to the bravery of the young heroes fighting wars. Deep connections to place and family course throughout the record. Sing-along “These Old Boots Have Roots” celebrates new love by offering promises grounded in the honor and grace of past generations. A fiddle accents Watson’s lines playfully then escalates to a hopeful roar.

Romance is a central theme of the album, but Watson isn’t interested in adding to the steady stream of hook-up anthems coming out of Music Row. Watson’s love songs are celebrations of monogamy and the bonds that only time, mutual respect, and persistence can build. The swinging, fiddle-soaked “Take You Home Tonight” anticipates a steamy night in, while “Run Wild Horses” is a passionate ode to lovemaking featuring a standout vocal performance from Watson, whose laid-back croon lets loose and soars. Infectious first single “Outta Style” and shuffling “Be My Girl Tonight” both praise staying power and explore how to protect it.

Watson revels in another kind of love on the album closer, “Diamonds and 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 says. That’s exactly what he did. A tender look at the past, present, and future, the song will undoubtedly touch every parent and daughter who hears it.

The title track is an accordion-fueled joy, buoyed by Watson’s delivery of life lessons courtesy of an old vaquero sitting alone at a bar. “Mariano’s Dream” and “Clear Isabel” are companion pieces, placed back-to-back to stunning cinematic effect. Plaintive instrumental “Mariano’s Dream” kicks off the experience, haunting and sad as an acoustic guitar carries listeners through a lush Tex-Mex soundscape. The song then segues into “Clear Isabel,” and listeners soon discover the Mariano named in the previous track is father to Isabel. A story of sacrifice and heartbreak, “Clear Isabel” imbues the souls who choose to cross a river in search of safety with the dignity and beauty they deserve. “It’s one of my favorite moments on the record,” Watson says. “I feel like if I could play Guy Clark that song, he’d smile.”

“They Don’t Make Em Like They Used To” begins as warm nostalgia, and other comforts before intensifying into no mere stroll down memory lane, but an increasingly indignant rant, capturing the hurt and anger of a country that’s currently reeling politically and socially. “I think it might be the best song I’ve ever written,” Watson says.

Refusing to worry about charts or current trends, Watson hopes the main thing Vaquero accomplishes is bringing his growing legion of fans joy. And no matter what happens next, he is anchored and ready. “It doesn’t really matter whether I’m playing a dancehall in Texas or a stadium tour around the world, I’m just me,” he says. “I won’t change. I’m just too rooted in what I believe in. When you’ve played for such a long time to nobody, now that there’s somebody, you really don’t take that for granted.”

Date Venue City State Note
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03/15/2011 - Aaron Watson saves the 'best for last' - Read More
01/25/2011 - Texas singing sensation Aaron Watson to perform at Sky Ranch Gala in Plano - Read More
10/28/2010 - Amarillo native celebrates fans - Read More
07/23/2010 - Aaron Watson’s grass-roots approach to music business works for him - Read More
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03/01/2008 - Aaron Watson Q&A - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 254


Aaron Watson  10/01/2008            
EAST TEXAS COUNTRY FAN
Aaron,IT WAS A PLEASURE TO SEE YOU AGAIN,MY FRIEND.THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT BIRTHDAY. YOU AND THE FAN'S UP FRONT AND MY BUDDIES IN THE BAND MADE THE NIGHT GREAT, LOVE YA!KICK ASS SHOW! GOD BLESS YA! BE CAREFUL,TRY TO SEE YA SOON.FLETCH
Aaron Watson  09/19/2008            
jstn
aaron watson. swing, bluegrass, texas. whatever you call him you need to check out his stuff. if it dosent make you want get up and 2-step there is something wrong with you.
Aaron Watson  09/06/2008            
TrueTXan
This band simply is Texas country music. The songs are true and know how to put on a show in Fort Worth. Aaron, if you happen to read this I just want to say I know it is not your regular venue area, but I hope you can come play at the University of Alabama. I go to school there and I know the people here could use a little real country music because I am tired of all this Nashville poop.
Aaron Watson  08/26/2008            
Marty
On August 16th You was in Spring Texas I brought my Daughter, Son in Law and a friend to see and listen to your music, First of all you made us feel at home in your Tour Bus and took the time to introduce us to your band members. They and I will never forget that! My Daughter had never heard your music but now She knows what a Great Performer you are.Thanks Aaron we love your Music. Hope to be in Spring in October.
Aaron Watson  07/28/2008            
cooter
saw aaron at river road ice house and all i can say was that he was freakin super duper awesome!!!!!
Aaron Watson  07/09/2008            
wojtalsd
Great CD! Was very surprised with it. You can tell Aaron Watsons music is maturing and I like it. It still has a few great upbeat songs. Also, a couple of tear jerkers are placed into the album. Well worth it!
Aaron Watson  07/08/2008            
countryTexasBoi
I All i got ot say it that Aaron Watson If my favorite country music singer, "Keep`em Comin` Aaron"
Aaron Watson  07/03/2008            
Question
Aaron, did you ever attend Wylie Baptist Day Care as a baby in Abilene Texas. We had a baby named Aaron Watson. I believe some of your family was employed at Super Duper (then a grocery store in Abilene). I'm just curious. Thanks!
Aaron Watson  06/29/2008            
Dennis
Aaron great show the other night at wormy dog ill be honest i dragged along and i didnt really want to go cause ive never heard your music but im glad i came your awesome and one day you will be huge all over ill do my best to spread your name around the big okc keep up the good work...
Aaron Watson  06/16/2008            
EAST TEXAS COUNTRY
Aaron, THE CONCERT'S WEVE BEEN TO ARE GREAT,WHAT ARE THESE FOLK'S MISSING.YOUR SHOW'S ARE DYNAMIC,UP-TEMPO, COUNTRY BALLAD'S,ESPECIALLY LOVE MAKING SONG.BREAKER BREAKER ONE NINE.FANTASTIC CHOICES FOR A GREAT ALBUM,AND HEARTS ARE BREAKING! CROSS TEXAS. BILLYBOB'S,JOLLYFOX, TEXAS DANCEHALL,BOOTLEGGER'S, AND CROSBY FAIR, EXCELLANT SHOW'S THANK,S AARON AND THE GUY'S FOR LETTING US BE A PART OF THE ACTION; LOVE YA! FLETCH
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