CD Review “Live at the World’s Largest Rodeo”

| September 4, 2018 | Reply

First appeared in Buddy Magazine, September 2018 issue. Photos and story by Mary Jane Farmer

Aaron Watson, “Live at the World’s Largest Rodeo”, Big Label Records

Aaron Watson is introduced on this recently-released CD as “The man putting ‘cowboy’ back in country music, Texas’ own Aaron Watson.”

Watson and his band recorded this latest project live at the Houston Rodeo, and it’s appropriately called Live at the World’s Largest Rodeo. It’s his 14th album recording, and a collection of Watson’s most well-known songs, aka his greatest hits. I bought this CD off of the Internet, and so it didn’t come with liner notes, a major downhill trip for this jacket junkie. But, still, it was worth the price.

And speaking of price, a portion of the sales from this CD will be dedicated to the still-ailing and still-rebuilding Gulf Coast area, hit so hard in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey.

There are 13 songs on Watson’s 14th recording project.

There’s one new, uplifting prayer of a song, “Higher Ground,” sounds as if it could have been written for one of Watson’s own children. “I pray you always be strong, you always be brave, take heart and hold on for dear life, wave after wave, after those tears fall down, down, down, come hell or high water, only love will find you higher ground,” and “There’s no color or race, just a beautiful face. Make the world a better place, change their life with your smile.” Sustenance for the soul.

His live versions of the other 12 songs he had previously put down in a studio prove, beyond any doubt, that Aaron Watson and his band can deliver passion and professionalism at the same time, every time, all the time. The instrumentation in “Wildfire” is stand-out. There’s the now-classic “Bluebonnets,” “the energetic “Freight Train” and “Getaway Truck,” and the slower “These Old Boots Have Roots.” On “July in Cheyenne,” which he calls his song for Lane Frost’s momma, the fiddle moans, yet purrs with promise that the late Mr. Frost’s legacy will always matter. And his “Raise Your Bottle,” which he says on the recording he wrote for his own father who is completely disabled from serving the country during the Viet Nam war. Before Aaron sings, he has all those who are current active duty military, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS, stand up and be recognized. “We give credit where credit is due,” and the outpouring from what must have been a massive audience at that rodeo is genuine.

This CD can be purchased from the Website AaronWatson.com,or from iTunes, or, of course, at a live concert. The band will be on the Chevrolet Main Stage, State Fair of Texas in Dallas on October 6.

 

 

 

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