Aaron Watson’s “An Aaron Watson Family Christmas” CD Review

| November 21, 2018 | Reply

One of several packages available for purchase with the An Aaron Watson Family Christmas CD.

First printed in Paris Life Magazine, December 2018 issue.

Aaron Watson

“An Aaron Watson Family Christmas,” Big Label Records

Anyone listening to Aaron Watson and his wife, Kimberly, belting out “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” might get a mental memory of Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban when they first introduced that song 69 years ago. Or maybe see Frank Sinatra’s toes tapping to it. Not sure if Frank Sinatra ever danced to it, but it’s a great vision. It’s that smooth and enticing a version of this song. Although it’s not the newest song on the new recording project, it’s also not by far the oldest one either.

Watson recorded An Aaron Watson Family Christmas 10-song CD at Milo Deering’s studio, and it’s filled with help from Kimberly, and also from their three children, Jake, Jack, and Jolee Kate. And there’s some instrumentals laid down by the amazing Milo Deering.

Maybe the oldest song in this collection is the classic “Silent Night,” which Aaron sings alone on, and which allows Kristine Kruta’s bass work to shimmer with sweetness.  The whole song, written in 1818, is charmingly recorded with simplicity and sentiment.

And, of course, so many from the 1940s, such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, on which young Jake takes the duo lead with his dad. Listen closely to that and you’ll hear ‘snaps,’ laid on this track and several others by executive producer Nate Coon. Fun. Also, the eternally popular, “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Aaron wrote one of the two new songs here — “Lonesome Lonestar Christmas,” a song that some without loved ones with them might understand. “The only present underneath my tree is a sack of socks that I wrapped up for me.” Slow, easy listening, and a good reminder to everyone that there may be someone out there not celebrating the season with family or friends. And yet in spite of that, it’s a song about the strength that Texans muster up when they must. Not completely sad.

And remembering Frank Sinatra, Aaron tackled with sophistication Frank’s “A Christmas Waltz,” and it stands out for two reasons: the first is that hardly ever, nowadays, do artists give their fans waltzes, and because Aaron’s  version is every bit as beautiful as Frank’s. One hundred percent as wonderful.

There’s more — so much more, and anyone’s heart can’t help but to listen up when Jolee Kate shares vocals with her dad, and Jake reads of the angels talking to the shepherds from the Book of Luke.

Photo by Mary Jane Farmer

This CD was released hot on the trail of Watson’s 14th, Live at The World’s Largest Rodeo, which is filled with his classic style and upscale arrangements of his national hits. An Aaron Watson Family Christmas is a tender look at Christmases past and present. He said in October, at the time he released the CD, ““We’ve talked about making this record for a few years now and I’m so glad we finally did. I had so much fun with Kim and the kids working on this project and including them, and am so proud of how it turned out. It’s very much a Frank Sinatra on the farm kind of feel. We hope it is something families can enjoy during the holidays for years to come.”

Hard copies of the CD are available on the Website  AaronWatson.com, and there’s a few special packages available along with the CD, and on Amazon.com. And downloading can happen on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and other streaming sites.

This is just a suggestion, but when you get your copy of An Aaron Watson Family Christmas, maybe set some logs ablaze in the fireplace and grab some hot chocolate and a gingerbread cookie, sit back, and enjoy.

Aaron Watson will be playing on December 2 at the KPLX 10-Man Jam, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth; December 30 at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, and again May 4 as part of the Off the Rails Fest in Frisco. Go Online to AaronWatson.com for a complete list of his upcoming shows.

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Category: *- Features, - CD Reviews

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