Let’s let the cat out of the bag right now, it’s tired of being stuck in this ole sack: Aaron Watson blew me away with this album.
Last month we loaded up and made our way to the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo for Xtreme Bulls and Aaron Watson’s performance. After a solid two hours of rodeo action, the tractors entered the arena preparing the dirt for the stage and additional seating to be set up. I couldn’t imagine the show being able to top Xtreme Bulls. There was just no way. Too many good rides and impressive bulls.
Less than a few songs into the performance, I realized Watson was going to put on one hell of a show. Song after song, I found myself swaying, tapping my boot along, and holding hands a little tighter with every lyric. As the minutes passed, I felt more and more invested. Shoot, I probably would have bought this CD right there in my seat if I would have had the Wi-Fi or if someone was going around with a box of them!
Living in College Station for a blessed five years, gave me many opportunities to listen to great Texas Country music on the local FM stations; two-step, half-step, polka and waltz along to countless red dirt ballads, and see all of these fresh-faced artists on stages like that of Hurricane Harry’s, the Texas Hall of Fame and others like the Tap. Whether it was a full-band or just an acoustic performance, few weeks went by without me ticket in-hand.
Aaron Watson wasn’t an unknown name. Hearts are Breaking Across Texas, Love Makin’ Song, Shut Up and Dance, Off the Record, and July in Cheyenne are all good ones that have been on a playlist or two of mine for years.
But his last two CDs, The Underdog and Vaquero, have been particularly enjoyable. According to Watson, he writes all of his music. And between the two of these CDs, a combined 32 songs, you completely understand why he writes them all. His energy is evident from the first to the last on the album list. Then when you see him live, his conviction and belief in his own music is something thrilling. At first it may come off as an abundance of self-advertisement, but once you buy his music and listen to it in its entirety, it is easy to appreciate.
Released February 24, 2017 per iTunes. Buying this CD off of iTunes will set you back a whole $9.99. With 16 songs on the list, I’d say that’s a pretty good bargain. I have owned this album for several weeks now. I’ve put it through my tried and true test. I know, I truly love an artist or album, when I can play a CD starting with number 1 and not hit skip a single time throughout an entire day. I have listened to Vaquero on my way to work, on my way home from work, on an evening run, while I make supper, and most recently on my weekly grocery run to HEB. Some tracks run deep with emotion, like Texas Lullaby, Mariano’s Dream, Clear Isabel and Diamonds & Daughters. Other songs are just plain fun. Take You Home Tonight, They Don’t Make Em Like They Used To, Vaquero, Outta Style, and One Step at a Time. But at the end of the day, they are all fabulous.
His music reminds me of Gary P. Nunn mixed with a bit of Max Stalling and a sprinkle of Marty Robbins-like charm.
There are few that are able to get in the mix with artists like these when it comes to my listening time. And extra points were earned when he name dropped Guy Clark in one of my favorite songs! However, at the end of the day, he earned my nod by his talent alone. I thoroughly have enjoyed listening to this album as much as I have lately.
My favorites from this CD, and since I’m not posting a Top 5 Friday post, here are my five favorites:
Diamonds & Daughters (Dad, Sydney cough, cough)
One Two Step at a Time
Big Love in a Small Town
Being one of four daughters, Diamonds & Daughters, strikes close to the heart. Talk about some incredible goosebumps. This one is a little hidden at the bottom of the set list if you listen in order. But one that is as impactful as the first, Texas Lullaby. I mean, seriously, my eyes got a little misty listening to this one for the first time.
Of course the first song I fell in love with was One Two Step at a Time. With lyrics like these, can you blame me??
She likes pearl in a can, a honky tonk band
She ain’t the kind that you can wine and dine
Oh the only way to waltz away with her heart is one two step at a time
And if you are curious about the type of guy Watson is, he donated all proceeds from his album sales over this past weekend to the wildfire victims. And with an album that has been at or near the top of the charts since it’s been released that may add up to a whole lot of help to those in the Panhandle of Texas and across the plains of Oklahoma and Kansas.
This guy is unreal in terms of sincerity and humbleness. During his show at the rodeo, he spouted words of encouragement through difficult times, spoke of his love of God and his passion of bringing country music from the brink of pop and skinny jeans. :)
Buy it on iTunes or Amazon as soon as you can get your credit card information out! It’s that dang good.
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