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Country singer excited for Jackson show

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Aaron Watson defies expectations.

The Texas-based country singer pulled off the impossible in October. With his release “Real Good Time,” Watson debuted in the top 10 country album charts.

The debut was a feat in itself, but Watson did it without a label.

“A lot of people said I couldn’t break into the top 10 without a label and I did it,” he explains during a phone interview from San Miguel, Calif. “It’s been a long road for me and things are starting to come together.”

“Real Good Time” marked Watson’s 11th studio album. It has been out for more than six months and has received a lot of good feedback.

With the positive response, Watson was able to snag the opening slot for Alan Jackson’s tour stop in Albuquerque.

“I’ve been ecstatic about this show for a while,” he says. “Alan is one of my heroes and to have the opportunity to play with him still blows my mind.”

Watson says his family will drive from West Texas to see the show in Albuquerque.

“They don’t get a lot of chances to watch me open for a legend like this,” he says. “This is something great for an independent artist. I’ll be able to perform for his fans and that means so much. It’s an opportunity for me to gain some more fans.”

Watson says he’s been fortunate enough to open for some of country’s biggest stars, but this gig opening for Jackson is one of the best.

“I’ve been a fan of his for so long that I may just have to be a fan when I meet him,” he says with a laugh. “I’ll maybe ask for a photo and an autograph. I usually don’t do that kind of stuff, but this is a great opportunity for me.”

While Watson’s latest album is less than a year old, he is already thinking about the next one. He says there are about 30 songs in his pocket but he will continue to work on writing.

“I want every album to be my best album each time I work on one,” he says. “This time I’m concentrating on melodies and making sure that the songs are quality songs. I’m pushing my writing to the next level.”

Watson also finds himself balancing a burgeoning career with being a family man.

“Remaining an independent artist is the best for me and my family right now. I work hard at everything I do and it’s like I tell my sons as they are playing sports, ‘Everyone wants to win, but it’s not about winning. It’s about improving and pushing yourself to get better.'”