NYCS First Impression: Aaron Watson ‘Red Bandana’

Aaron Watson Red Bandana

Aaron Watson is celebrating a huge milestone year, being in the music industry for 20 years, with a new album, Red Bandana. In the days leading up to Watson’s latest album, he took to Instagram to describe each track and how it came about. Red Bandana is not the traditional 10-12 track album and Watson doesn’t play by the rules of the industry as an independent artist. One thing to notice about him compared to any other artists is his ability to tell a story. Whether it is his own personal journey, loss, or success, a moment with a fan turned into a song, or a meaningful conversation, Watson is able to pull great songs out of anything.

The album’s cover is a simple red bandana just like the name although it’s meaning is much bigger. Watson shared on Instagram earlier this year, “To me there’s nothing more classic, more country, or more cowboy than an old red bandana. It signifies hard work, grit, and determination… I needed a cover that would reflect the meaning behind the music. I needed something with more substance than just another cover with my picture on it. The title track is a cowboy poem, so I decided, why not just photograph my Dad’s old red bandana. We tilted the square red bandana 45 degrees and there it was, like a diamond in the rough!”

Watson is right. Upon first listen, “Ghost of Guy Clark” has is such a cowboy tone to it, just like a Chris Ledoux classic. A clear ode to staying true to yourself, something the singer-songwriter clearly represents. Fading into “El Comienzo Del Viaje,” you will notice that there are no words in the minute and a half song. The sounds of an abandoned Texas town and fiddles quickly turns into sounds of a victory, like any triumphant story.

The latest single off the record “Kiss That Girl Goodbye” is based on an encounter Watson had with a fan. He shared earlier this year on his Instagram that a girl came up to meet him after a concert and told him that she was supposed to come here with her boyfriend but after she dumped him she still came to celebrate by herself. What better way to celebrate than to have Watson write such an upbeat song! Other hits include “Trying Like the Devil,” “Old Friend,” and “Riding With Red” with new music videos for each.

Out of all the songs on the album, the last one “58” is arguably the most powerful. It’s a tribute to the 58 men and women that lost their lives at the Route 91 tragedy. A few months after the shooting in Vegas, Watson played there for National Finals Rodeo where he met a sweet woman who had lost a close friend during the tragedy. She suggested that someday he should write a song for all the victims and their families. “58” is an ode to those who passed and lost loved ones during the tragedy last year. Watson once again makes a point to pay tribute to his hero, draw awareness to issues, write heart-melting love songs, and more all into one beautiful and cohesive album.

To keep up with Aaron Watson, follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Red Bandana is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.


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