Events by EventfulAaron Watson
Aaron Watson has been through a lot in his twelve-year career: eleven albums, the birth of four children, countless hours on the road and many more still spent toiling away at his guitar, writing songs with Jesus on one shoulder and the ghost of Waylon Jennings on the other, making the country tunes he was born to play. But a year ago, the music nearly stopped for this lone star legend from Amarillo, Texas. Watson and his wife lost their newest daughter, Julia Grace, just shortly after her birth. And this man, who lives and breathes his craft, fell silent.
“I thought the last thing I want to do is make music, to get up there and sing,” Watson says, his Texas accent strong and smooth as molasses. “So I said, ‘God, I don’t think I can do this. If music is what you need me to do, then I need some help. Because I can’t write a song to save my life.’ And over the next month I wrote a record like it was no big deal – and I think it’s my best one yet.”
The resulting album is titled Real Good Time, and it’s testament to the power of music to lift us out from our lowest moments and bring joy and salvation though the wail of the fiddle, twang of a steel guitar or note of Watson’s rich voice. He’d give all the credit to God, but it’s also the result of a long career inspired by the greats of country music – George Strait, Chris Ledoux, Willie Nelson, Jennings. His music has formed into a unique sound that is at once both purely new, and representative of a grand, southern tradition. Because, as Watson points out, “country music, real country music, is cool. It’s the coolest there is.”
Watson’s career has been, as he would put it, “slow and steady; a long distance race and not a sprint.” Though he currently lives in Abilene, he was raised in Amarillo (“you can’t get any more country than that,” he laughs) on his father’s record collection that not only included classic country, but also acts like the Beach Boys and the Beatles. While his mother would encourage him to sing, Watson preferred other boyish pursuits like baseball, which he played up until college where he was derailed by an injury. It was at Abilene Christian University where Watson picked up the guitar and realized his God-given talent for songwriting. “Eventually I started selling records out of my backpack,” he says, and his crowds grew from there. It wasn’t an overnight rise. “We did it the hard way,” he says with pride. “We did it the old-school way.”