Houston Rodeo opening performer Aaron Watson sings “They Don’t Make ’Em Like They Used To” live at the Grand Ole Opry.
Amarillo-born singer Aaron Watson is following in the No. 1 footsteps of other Lone Star legends like George Strait and Willie Nelson with his true country songs and Texas pride. As Rolling Stone noted, “Watson is a Texan in the classic mold: a self-governed, cowboy-hatted family man who’s found success on his own terms. …”
Watson released his first album, Singers and Songwriters, back in 1999, and quickly followed it up with his second album, Texas Cafe, in 2000. But it wasn’t until 2003’s Shut up and Dance that Watson began to gain recognition from a worldwide audience.
Now, the singer-songwriter is hotter than July in Texas with his latest two hit albums. The Underdog, released in 2015, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums; as Billboard itself noted, it became “the first album by a male artist to debut at the top of the Country Album charts with a self-released and independently distributed and promoted LP. Selling over 26,000 copies in just its first week, the feat made headlines across the country.”
Watson’s 11th album, Vaquero, which came out in February of this year, is similarly on fire. The album features 16 character-driven songs that are deeply rooted in Texas storytelling, touching on classic Texas traditions such as dance hall shuffles, Dust Bowl narratives, and Go Tejano Day.
And, of course, there are Watson’s personal touches, as when he reflects on his upbringing in “They Don’t Make ’Em Like They Used To.” The song calls to mind — and heart — bluebonnets on Hill Country roads and Granny’s fried chicken, making listeners feel right at home.
Fittingly enough, Watson will kick off his home state’s Houston Rodeo on Tuesday, March 7. For a sneak preview before his performance on the world-renowned revolving stage, check out the video of Watson singing his hometown favorite, “They Don’t Make’Em Like They Used To,” live at the Grand Ole Opry.