Aaron Watson's Career Soars Without Major Label

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Abilene-based Aaron Watson is gearing up for another indie release with his upcoming project "The Underdog" scheduled to drop Feb. 17.

This album is record No. 12 with his last 11 successful releases claiming almost 10 No. 1 singles on the Texas Music Chart. And four of those 11 albums have made debuts on the Billboard charts.

And all without a record label.

Watson will perform 9 p.m. Thursday at Brewster Street Ice House with Clayton Gardner being billed as the opening act.

The momentum Watson has built up over the years is going into this latest project with "The Underdog" boasting top Nashville producer and songwriter Keith Stegall who is known for his production of Music Row royalty such as Alan Jackson, the Zac Brown Band and George Jones. He also co-wrote George Strait's No. 1 "I Hate Everything."

In previous interviews Watson said he had to up his game while working with the major league producer and spent a lot of early mornings writing for the new album, which promises a lot of personal material that is going into his arsenal. The writing process took about 18 months to complete.

Watson's previous album is called "Real Good Time," and it debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Country Chart and No. 81 overall on the Billboard Top 200 in album sales. Watson has said that more than a few record execs have asked him how he has sold so many units and become such a success without the muscle of a record label behind him. To Watson, his faith, his fans and his hard work have all been keys to his success.

In previous interviews, Watson has also said there have been a few labels who have attempted to woo him into a contract, but Watson always turns them down in favor of being an independent artist who steers his own ship. In the end, he says, nobody has his interests at heart more than himself. For the last 14 years, Watson, who began his songwriting while attending Abilene Christian University, has called the shots in his career and so far no regrets.


What: Aaron Watson with Clayton Gardner
When: 9 p.m. Thursday; Doors open at 8 p.m.
Where: Brewster Street Ice House, 1724 N. Tancahua St.
Cost: $17.50/advance; $20/day of show; $3 surcharge for minors. (Does not apply to children 10 or younger)
Information: 884-2739; www.brewsterstreet.net

Article: Corpus Christi Caller-Times