Hometown boy Aaron Watson on his first Amarillo coliseum show, his breakthrough success and more

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Aaron Watson will perform Friday in the Civic Center Coliseum.
Photo by Joseph Llanes

"Outta Style," Aaron Watson

By Chip Chandler — Producer

He's seen acts like Kenny Chesney, Chicago and the Beach Boys play there, and now Aaron Watson will make his debut on his hometown's biggest stage.

Watson will perform with fellow Texas country star Pat Green at 8 p.m. Friday in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium, 401 S. Buchanan St.

"I've seen a few concerts there, but I don't think I've ever strummed my guitar under that roof," Watson said in a Saturday phone interview. "I'm excited about that. I'm excited to be coming home."

The show comes as Watson, an Abilene resident ever since attending Abilene Christian University following graduating from Randall High School, is riding high on his biggest national successes.

He rocked Nashville in 2015 when his 10th studio album, The Underdog, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, the first time an album by an independent male country singer had done so. Its follow-up, Vaquero, debuted at No. 2 on the chart, and the single "Outta Style" cracked the Top 10 Billboard country singles chart.

"It's been crazy with the success of 'Outta Style'," Watson said. "It's really just taken things to a whole new level.

"In the last three years, we've played 40 states and, I think, 11 countries, and the list keeps growing," he continued. "Now, with 'Outta Style' in the Top 10 and 'Run Wild Horses' off to a good start, we're just continuing to do what we've always done."

Even Watson was taken aback by the success of "Outta Style."

"I don't know how, honestly," he said. "I wrote it, but I don't think it's anything brilliant; I have much better songs. But I think it's a fun, catchy tune."

And it has a personal connection.

"It's the story of my career and my relationship with my wife and where things have come from — the many, many changes that we have experienced while we've been together but how our love is the one thing that has remained the same," he said. "That's the one constant."

Though his upcoming tour schedule has him playing several other coliseums, amphitheaters and festivals, Watson said he'll "never outgrow the dance halls."

"We always make time for them, but at the same time, it's neat to play these big venues mostly because they're all-ages shows," he said. "It was important for me to come back home and play an all-ages show. I've been promising people for the longest time that I would, so I'm obviously way overdue.

"It's going to be a fun evening. We're all excited about it."

Watson's heading back into the studio in a few months to record his Vaquero follow-up.

"Basically, we have (the writing) finished. Now, we're working on arrangements," he said. "I'd like to go back (to the studio) now, but I want to take my sweet time and get it right. These are the best songs I've ever written. I've never come out with an album following this kind of commercial success, so I want to give the best I've got."

And before that, Watson plans to drop a Christmas album in the fall.

"I think, honestly, it's the most fun record I've ever made," he said. "It's a family record. My wife is singing some songs with me. Our kids are singing and playing. I think it's going to be a special album."

Also special? This Amarillo concert — including the participation of his longtime friend Green.

"Gosh, I think I met Pat 20 years ago," Watson said. "He's had a huge influence on my career with his songwriting and the energy level he has on stage. It's always fun getting to share the stage with Pat, you know. He's a legend.

"(And) after the show, I'm going to hang out at the coliseum 'til Amarillo is done with me," he continued. "I may be there 'til the same time the next day."





Chip Chandler is a producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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