IMG_7797Aaron Watson returns to our country at the end of January 2016 at the Billy Bob’s Texas Country Fair, an event dedicated to the world of country, to be held at the “Fiera” centre in Padua from January 29 to 31. However, it is not the first time that the singer/songwriter from Amarillo (TX), has had the chance to play in Italy. He has already played in 2011 at the Crazy Bull in Vicenza and in 2012 at the Plaza of Longa in Schiavon, also in the province of Vicenza. But this time Aaron Watson returns as a superstar, on the wings of success of his latest Cd, “The Underdog”, which is gathering a worldwide attention. Born in Amarillo in 1977, but grew up musically in the city of Abilene, always in Texas, Aaron released his first album, simply entitled “Aaron Watson” in 1999. The first real breakthrough however, came two years later, in 2001 when Sonnet Records published “A Texas Cafe”.
Aaron-Watson-Real-Good-TimeThe Cd had a fresh captivating sound with some good tracks, such as “Amarillo Fair”, “Going To Texas” and especially “Thank God For Country Girls” which immediately grasped the attention of the press and local radio stations. In 2002, “Shutupanddance” is released, driven by the single of the same name, The Cd has 13 tracks, but three in particular, “Lonely Lubbock Lights”, “Off The Record” and “Heaven Help The Heart” will unequivocally predict which style of personalised country music, still very “Texas”, that will be distinguished by Aaron. In 2004 “A Honky Tonk Kid”, produced by Ray Benson, leader of the group Asleep at The Wheel”, with the participation of Willie Nelson (The Honky Tonk Kid), Asleep At The Wheel (Honky Tonk Around Texas) and Dale Watson (Diesel Driving Daddy). Musically speaking, it is a complex album, but extremely innovative which Aaron launches at a nationwide level, (prior to this he was known only in the honky tonk club scene) and it was this that earned him the nickname of “The Honky Tonk Kid”. With “Live At The Texas Hall of Fame” in 2005, closes the first cycle of the musical career of our singer.
watson aaron texasThe live Cd recorded with the support of his band, called “The Orphans Of The Brazos”, is obviously a sort of compilation of the first four albums and, according to myself, is one of the best live Texan country music albums, for the quality of the sound. With “San Angelo” in 2006, Watson makes that leap of quality and enters the Billboard charts, but it is with “Angels & Outlaws” in 2008 that he reaches the Billboard hot zone, whilst the single “Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas” lands at the number 1 position in the Texas Music Charts. Meanwhile, Sonnet Records release “Barbed Wire Halo”, a controversial album, full of country gospel songs and inspirational songs, but always distinguished by the great typical “Texas sound” of Watson. In 2009 he released “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”, Aaron Watson Live, which consists of a Cd and a DVD, both live, for a total of 22 songs. The Cd is great and “The Orphans Of The Brazos” (Jondan McBride, Calib Bruce, Jason Lerma, Damien Green and David Kurrasch) are simply perfect. The name of Aaron Watson is ready to leave the States, and “The Honky Tonk Kid” is now ready for an international tour. In 201O, Big Label Records released “The Road And The Rodeo”, a disc that made several concessions to the Nashville sound, still maintaining that very Texan sound, for both arrangements and lyrics. Just listen to “Houston”, “Driving All Night Long” and the wonderful “The Road”. “Real Good Time”, of 2012 is the album which completes his artistic maturity. The songs are solid and substantial and there are two songs in particular, “Raise Your Bottle” and “July in Cheyenne” (dedicated to Lane Frost, rodeo cowboy killed by a bull during The Frontier Days) which, just themselves, are worth the price of the Cd. To be noted in “Real Good Time”, the list of guest musicians such as, Justin McBride, Elizabeth Cook, Pat Green and Josh Abbott, Kevin Fowler, John Anderson, Charla Corn and Willie Nelson.
97-atjmboThat brings us to the present day, and the release of “The Underdog”, an album which places Aaron Watson amongst some of the best country music performers in the world. Produced by Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, George Strait, George Jones, Zac Brown, Clay Walker, Dr Hook) “The Underdog” is perfect, the album that every country artist would be proud to have recorded. “Freight Train”, the single “That Look”, “Bluebonnets (Julia’s Song)”, the title track “The Underdog”, “Rodeo Queen” and “That’s Why God Loves Cowboys” are masterpieces with a very traditional sound, but at the same time pleasantly modern. Success is worldwide and each performance is hailed as a great musical moment. With this background, the concert in Padua, on the 30th January 2016 will be an event to remember (just listen to “You Just Can’t See Him From The Road” dedicated to Chris LeDoux, and you’ll know what I’m talking about). (Gianluca Sitta)