While the world of country music takes on a more “non-traditional” country sound, Texas country music artist, Aaron Watson, is making his own statement in the industry with his latest album, Vaquero; the follow-up to 2015’s The Underdog. And it’s no wonder the “Honky Tonk Kid” is becoming a household name when family, faith, and fans are the three things he believes above all else and shines through in his music and life.
However, don’t think that just because Watson’s 12th album was the first ever independent record to chart #1 on the Country Music Billboard charts that it’s all gone to his head; in fact, it’s just the opposite. “When we found out we had the #1 record people would ask me how I felt and honestly the feeling I felt had nothing to do with being an artist. It was a feeling of relief from a father’s point of view because this is how I made a living to support my family. This is job security. I’m Aaron Watson – a husband and a father.”
Tour buses and sold out concerts might be in Watson’s “job description,” however, his personal life couldn’t be further from the limelight in which he finds himself in when on stage. “We live out in the country, outside a little town with only 600 people surrounded by sod farms; we live the country way of life. We don’t eat at these big commercial chain restaurants, we spend most of our money at the little mom and pop places.”
“When we found out we had the #1 record people would ask me how I felt and honestly, the feeling I felt had nothing to do with being an artist. It was a feeling of relief from a father’s point of view because this is how I made a living to support my family. This is job security. I’m Aaron Watson – a husband and a father.”
It moments like watching the kids play outside by the old farm house after church on Sunday, taking the boys hunting before getting the “best” pizza ever from the local corner store or seeing his daughter love on her four kittens and feeding her new pigmy goat that Watson cherishes the most. “I feel like I have the opportunity to raise my kids in a kind of 1950’s scenario. That’s the thing that I love about the situation that I’m in because it’s a very crazy world we live in. It’s just one of those things, the country way of life, which gives kids a foundation that so many kids don’t know.”
And while Watson could chat about his children all day, it’s also the love and admiration he has for his wife that is a shining light in today’s society. “I personally think it’s important that I let people know how much I celebrate our affection for each other. The rest of the world in singing about one-night stands; I’m sing about a lifetime. I’m singing about a woman that has given birth to four children for me. Look at what she has done for me.”
Continuing to celebrate his love for his wife, Kimberly, Watson explains that the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is more than just a rodeo; it’s a mini honeymoon each year for them, a time to enjoy the seeing world’s best rodeo athletes, the festivities around it, the people and their friends. “The first year I was out there I couldn’t get her to go out there with me because she didn’t want anything to do with Vegas,” laughed Watson. “The next year I pretty much made her go with me and she had so much fun. Now that girl is showing up to the WNFR whether I go or not. But it’s really become a tradition for us and when life is crazy with business it’s so important for a marriage to set aside time for each other and that’s what the WNFR has become to us.”
When it comes his faith, Watson shares his story whenever he steps on a stage; a story that he hopes could help many to know the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. “’July In Cheyenne’ was much more than just a song about Lane Frost,” says Watson of the multi-award winning single. “Personally, that song is special. That’s the first song I wrote after my wife and I lost Julia Grace. I struggled for months and months getting on stage while everyone was having a good time. I was heartbroken, home sick and being on that stage isn’t where I wanted to be.”
At the same time Watson knew God had blessed them with three beautiful kids at home and he had to continue providing for his family. “One night out of frustration I hung my guitar up on the wall and said, ‘God if this is what you want me to do then I sure could use the help right now’. It wasn’t long later I came across something Miss Elsie Frost said, and I share this story every night because I know there are broken-hearted people out there.”
Elsie Frost said “Lane was a World Champion bull rider, but that wasn’t his greatest achievement in life. It came a year before his death when he asked Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior.” It was then Watson knew that after all Jesus had done for him that he’d see his baby girl in Heaven again and he focused on the hope. “I hope my story will touch someone else and lead them closer to the Lord. I feel like I truly wrote that song that night like it had already been written and I feel like that song is a gift from God.”
Watson is more than just a famous name or someone who has an amazing voice touring the country, he is a grounded, Jesus loving, family man who is a true inspiration to all he comes in contact with; in person and through his music.
Article: Katie Dixon
Photo credits: Aaron Watson/Google Images