Gone Country: Aaron Watson – Slow and Steady
A weekly column about all things country.Posted by Melissa Daniels
After ten successful albums, and a residency in the Texas Country music scene for years that far exceed a decade, slow and steady is the tag you earn. It’s a good couple hundred steps beyond up and coming. At least, that’s what I was told when I sat down with Aaron Watson at the Puyallup Fair Grounds earlier this month.
I felt the interview deserved a little bit more than our average, “Hey, we interviewed so-and-so. Listen here,” post. So, I’m circiling back around to my new-found love of Texas Country to share with you a little bit more about one of the genre’s staples.
Graciously greeted and invited to grab a seat on the old couch in the green room backstage, I had the chance to sit down with the Abilene man who is prepping to drop his 11th studio album, Real Good Time, on October 9th. We talked baseball, home life, touring and of course, the upcoming release of Watson’s latest album. But this was a little bit more than just your average interview.
One of the biggest challenges as a journalist is creating an environment where people feel safe to expose the things that really make them who they are. I’d say musicians have it a little bit easier because they’re use to taking their guard down when writing music. But when it comes down to a one-on-one, face-to-face conversation, it’s often not as easy as singing in the booth.
Aaron has easily one of the biggest hearts in country music, and you can feel it when you walk into the room. From the way he greets you and dives right, you’re made to feel just like an old friend. So it came as no surprise when Aaron humored all my questions about his college baseball career, switching gears from holding a bat to a guitar, falling in love with his wife and coaching his sons’ baseball team.
And although I have a feeling this everyday cowboy has always been this kind natured, I wouldn’t shy from observing that it may also have to do with the bittersweet sentiments of October 10th. The date marks the one year anniversary Aaron and his wife lost their baby girl, Julia Grace. And it just so happens that Aaron’s forthcoming album drops the day before. The Watson family has been gracious enough to share their journey on moving forward on their Barbed Wire Halo blog. Incredible, heart-wrenching, tear-jerking love is just a taste of what this family of five has gone through this past year. Their courage is so much more than admirable.
Despite sharing his story of loss, the conversation was anything but somber, especially when talking about the upcoming album release. Real Good Time is just simply that. You can take a listen to some samples below, to see for yourself. The album features collaborations with some of Texas’s finest, including Willie Nelson, Pat Green, Josh Abbott, Charla Corn, Kevin Fowler and many more. Of his favorite records, “July in Cheyenne” and “Lips” take the cake.
Another special feature on the album is the single “Raise Your Bottle,” which relinquishes all proceeds over to The Boot Campaign. The non-profit works to benefit wounded soldiers and their families, a cause dear to the Watson family, as Aaron’s father is a disabled war veteran himself.
To cap off a great interview, Watson invited me to enjoy his set up close and personal on stage with his wife and family. What a treat that was! It’s not everyday you come across someone as genuine and talented as Aaron.
Listen to the full interview below to hear what else Aaron had to share about life and Real Good Time.
You can also peep a listen to clips from the album here.