Aaron Watson. If you love George Strait, if you love fiddles, if you love true cowboys, if Texas Country is your jam, this man is for you. He has been doing this a long time. 19 years, 13 albums.
He is well known in Texas, but only in Texas & surrounding areas. The funny thing about Country is that there are 3 distinct styles based on region: Bakersfield, Texas, Nashville. I could write a whole post about just this subject, but I’ll make it brief. Bakersfield Country sounds a little less polished, less tracks, more banjo. Texas country is based on the ‘outlaw’ mentality. Anti Nashville. I do my own thing, anti establishment. It tends to be a more traditional country sound. The Nashville sound is the smooth, pop sounding Country. There is a bit of an ongoing tiff between the regional differences, specifically Nashville & Texas. Needless to say, Texas guys do not get much national radio play.
Ok, ok, back to the damn music. Aaron Watson is George Strait cowboy Country with Dierks Bentley rasp. He is a true cowboy. If I ever need a reminder of why I moved to Nashville, I pull out my Aaron Watson albums. The dream is not dead; the classic sound still exists. There is an ongoing joke in Nashville that the worst “music crime” you can commit is simply to play classic country. It breaks my heart because King George, Willie, Waylon, Reba, Loretta, etc made me fall in love with Country music as a child. This sound has such a special meaning to me, as I know it does others. It honestly breaks my heart that this style doesn’t get noticed in the mainstream world as much anymore.
BUT, this is why Aaron Watson stands out. He has that classic sound, is a talented writer/artist, and HE DOESN’T GIVE UP. He knows he is the underdog, and he keeps giving it his all. There is something so damn beautiful about that. This has inspired me countless times to persevere. Seeing him live proves that I'm not the only one inspired. His fans are some of the best there are, singing along with every word to every song.
All of his albums are fantastic; 13 indie albums and none feel stale, which is remarkable. The guitar, fiddle, and lyrics always work together in the most beautiful ways. His latest, Vaquero may be the best. Here are the tracks that stand out to me:
This was a more serious one, sorry not sorry. I believe that sometimes the best music brings you to tears. But, in the words of Panic! At the Disco, I “swear to shake it up, if you swear to listen”