Friday, October 23, 2009

Watson's album is the real deal

Watson's album is the real deal

Watson's album is the real deal

October 22, 2009 01:15 am

By Andrew W. Griffin, Pop Writer

Deep In The Heart of Texas: Aaron Watson Live
Aaron Watson
Big Label Records (2009)

Hot on the heels of his terrific studio album "Angels and Outlaws," the self-described "Honky-Tonk Kid," Aaron Watson of Abilene, Texas, recently released a live album featuring Watson's best work.
And here's the bonus, y'all, it's not only a live music CD, but there's a live DVD as well. For fans of Aaron Watson, lovers of honky-tonk country music or the merely curious, you won't be disappointed with "Deep In The Heart of Texas: Aaron Watson Live" recorded last June in Waco at the Hog Creek Icehouse.
And when you've got 22 amazing traditional country songs, how can you go wrong? Watson clearly has a healthy appreciation of country music's trailblazers, the fellas who are traditional cowboy singers writing songs about real life situations. He's sort of a 21st century George Strait, meaning he's a cowboy-hat wearing, "real deal" who connects with his audience. But when it comes to engaging the audience, he has a leg up on Strait.
The album kicks off with "Love Makin' Song." Watson is clearly there to have a good time and entertain his legion of rabid fans, particularly the ladies who sing along with every lyric.
"3rd Gear and 17," a hit Watson had a couple of years ago, is certainly a highlight, and the song that got the attention of this music writer. "Lonely Lubbock Nights" jams in the middle of the song and proves Watson -- strumming an acoustic guitar -- is an able band leader.
"Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas," a big hit on the Texas Music chart, is heart-felt. Watson attributes the title to best in Texas music writer, Katie Key, who coined the phrase after news broke the handsome Watson was getting married.
Ballads like "San Angelo" are placed between his current single, "Rollercoaster Ride," and the rockin' country song "All American Country Girl."
Check out the smokin' fiddle work on "Angels and Outlaws" by Damien Green, who is a member of Watson's Orphans of the Brazos band, along with drummer Calib Bruce, pedal steel player David Kurrasch, bassist Jondan McBride and guitarist Jason Lerma, who also does a little mandolin here, too.
In fact, Green kicks off "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" with some fine fiddle playing. Over the course of the song, each member of the band gets a chance to shine.
Paying tribute to the veterans and soldiers, Watson plays Merle Haggard's right-wing anthem "Fightin' Side Of Me," with its "if you don't love it, leave it" lyrics. Watson and the boys handle this one beautifully.
And there's another great cover worth noting -- Jerry Reed's "Smokey and the Bandit" theme song, "East Bound and Down."
Before launching into the 1970s classic, Watson says, "There's something attractive about a woman who appreciates a good truck-driving song."
The DVD features Watson and his band performing these songs, as well as interviews with Watson.
And Watson has achieved quite a bit in a short amount of time. He's not only gaining serious attention in Texas, but Watson's song "Rollercoaster Ride" is regularly played on SiriusXM's "Nashville" station.
"I'm proud to be a Texan," Watson said in the DVD interview. "Just look at our Texas music scene."
And Watson means it. He talks about "once you're down in Texas, Bob Wills is still the king," said Watson, noting there isn't a single honky-tonk in Texas he hasn't played.
The DVD then segues into the Texas swing of "Bob Wills Is Still The King."
And believe it or not, the ever-prolific Aaron Watson is prepping a brand new studio album for his growing list of fans, which is expected to be released January 2010.
Until then, and after, pick up a copy of "Deep In The Heart of Texas: Aaron Watson Live." You'll thank me.
For more information, visit

Grade: A
Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

No comments: