Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

‘Underdog’ on top: Aaron Watson looks forward to ABQ return after quick rise to fame

Aaron Watson misses Albuquerque.

For years, the Texas-based country singer performed in the city about every six months.

Since his 2015 No. 1 album, “The Underdog,” Watson’s profile has risen significantly. In part, so did his touring, and that’s the reason he hasn’t been back in more than a year.

“We’ve been to 40 states and 10 countries. We’re a little more spread-out,” he says during a recent interview. “I’ve been keeping busy. You gotta get while there’s some getting. You never know when these types of opportunities will stop. Right now, we’re having the time of our lives.”

Watson followed up “The Underdog” with 2017’s “Vaquero,” his 11th studio album.

The album also spawned the country top 10 hit, “Outta Style.”

Country singer Aaron Watson is touring in support of his album, “Vaquero.” (Courtesy of Joseph Llanes)

Despite all the accolades, the 40-year-old musician is still finding balance in his life.

“There are times that it’s stressful,” he says. “It’s not always roses. There are thorns in there, too. I’ve had to take a step back and evaluate where we’re going and how we want to get there. I’ve managed to be able to spend more time with my family while I’m on tour. We are very blessed.”

Though the current tour is travel-heavy, Watson strives to strike a balance.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this tour without a bus,” he says. “I also fly home for a few days each week to see my wife and kids. I’m not trying to be perfect in any sense. I’m working hard to balance both aspects of my life.”

Watson’s music has always been from the heart.

He writes about his daily struggles as a human, a husband and a father.

“The songs are very relatable,” he says. “I try to be real all the time. I’m full of all kinds of imperfections. I’m not the perfect husband or a perfect father. At the same time, I’m the poster child for persistence. I’m a pretty normal guy. The world is full of normal people. I don’t want to be some big star. I just want to write songs and take care of my wife and kids.”

With 11 albums under his belt, Watson finds himself in a predicament when trying to put together a set list for his show.

“It’s a struggle because we have all these other albums and people want to hear specific songs,” he says. “If I played all my songs, it would be four or five hours long. So I just kind of take a census of what everyone wants to hear, because in truth, some songs don’t go over well live. Some songs are better with an acoustic element. I just take notice of the vibe of the room, and we move on from there.”

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal seeks stories of our community's pandemic loss

If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like for the person to be included in an online memorial the Journal plans to publish, please email a high-resolution photo and a sentence about the person to Please email
Please include your contact information so we can verify, and your loved one’s name, age, community where they lived and something you want our readers to know about them.