Tuesday, January 17, 2017
– Aaron Watson has a tough act to follow when he releases "Vaquero" in late February.
That's because his 2015 disc, "The Underdog," was an indie release that hit number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart,
marking the first time an independent, male country artist had ever debuted at the top spot.
"Vaquero" is a 16-song collection from the Texan with hard-driving fiddle, songs for two-stepping, and Tejano influences. Watson co-produced Marshall Altman. Watson wrote or co-wrote all of the songs with collaborators including Mac McAnally and Leslie Satcher.
"I've always considered myself an anti-rock star," Watson said. "People don't like me because I'm a rock star. People like me because I'm just like them."
Watson, 39, has released a dozen albums. Watson was sitting at his kitchen table as his wife Kim scrambled eggs when he got the call that "The Underdog" had debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. "We started jumping around and squealing like kids," he said. "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."
"Once we dried the tears of joy, it hit me," Watson said. "I had my work cut out for me for my next album."
Watson committed to waking up every morning to write songs on the same old pawnshop guitar he scored 20 years ago. "I bet you I couldn't get $50 for that guitar," he said. "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 2 years playing more than 35 states and 6 countries.
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
"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 said.
The album closes with "Diamonds & 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 said.