Raise Your Bottle to Aaron Watson and his new CD! From the very first boot scootin’ beats of “Real Good Time” as a country music fan you are in for a real treat! The Honky Tonk Kid has some pretty hard hitting “Texas” country boys helping him out. The CD is a bit of who’s who in Texas country featuring collaborations with the likes of Willie Nelson, who joined him for one of Aaron’s classics, the title song from his 2004 album The Honky Tonk Kid. Justin McBride joins him for “Cadillac Cowboy” which is another fast paced song, one that will fill he dance floors through time. Justin and Aaron sound fantastic together!
You’ve got “Texas Boys” where Pat Green and Josh Abbot sing along about the “crazy life” of the TX music scene. It’s a great tune I like to call a ‘warning label’ for ladies that think they want a ‘country musician’ for a mate with lyrics like “So If you think you can take it, enjoy the nonsense and noise girl it ain’t easy holding onto hard living honky tonkin Texas boys” and “ask Willie’s 4 ex-wives”. The music is rich and makes you appreciate the band behind the words.
“Dear Blind” surprised me, with Aaron and Kevin Fowler, who joined him on this one, being such avid hunters I expected the song to be about …well hunting. To my surprise it’s a frisky little song about having their “baby up in a deer blind” with a different kind of hunting in mind – it made me giggle.
Speaking of frisky, he always does a special song for Mrs. Aaron Watson on each CD. This one “Lips” is well yes “frisky”. I knew when listening to the short 10 sec clip he previewed for us this was Kimberly’s song. Although he was a bit nervous for her to hear it, and she thought that perhaps it was a bit risqué for him to put on the CD I am glad he didn’t listen to her. Hands down this is one of my favorites on the CD. I adore the song and being married for 29 years, and as a women, I can appreciate it! He wants to be sure his children know through his music as well as through their personal living how he loves their momma, and this song will do that for eternity. It teaches them not only how he loves her but how they should love and be loved in their future when they grow up and move towards the relationship period in their lives.
A very poignant song “July In Cheyenne”, he did for Lane’s mama. Lane Frost was a bull rider that was killed while riding at Cheyenne Frontier days. Elsie, his mama didn’t feel that the movie, 8 seconds, paid proper tribute to his whole life. Yes he was a world champion bull rider, but that wasn’t his biggest accomplishment in her eyes. It was the fact that the year before his passing he asked Jesus to be his savior, and had walked a very different walk that final year. He walked along side Jesus. So Aaron had one goal in mind with the song, he wanted Lanes mama to approve and like the song. He went about the song in his wonderfully story telling way and set the story straight. Although it is really one line, it is a very powerful line at the end of the song “if you’re washed in blood you’ll see him again and casino it won’t be in rain in the mud in July in Cheyenne.” It is no surprise that Elsie loved the song!
When I once asked Aaron about cover songs, he said the only time he will put one on his CD’s if he can do it better, improve upon it. Well as a huge Fleetwood Mac fan I was curious to hear “Leather & Lace”, he had Elizabeth Cooke join him on it. I (♥♥♥♥♥)LOVE it! It quickly became one of my favorites and most listened to songs on my iPod.Elizabeth’s voice is more vulnerable than that on the original song, which brings the honesty out in Aaron. Elizabeth’s’ sultriness paired with his yearning voice take you inside their emotion. You can feel it leap out of the speakers and believe they are in love. I would sure love to hear another duet by them!
“Nowhere Fast” is a bit different for Aaron and it shows the depth of his talent! It is country through and through but has a bluesy edge to it. Makes me want to hear more like it! He tells a story once again through the intricacy yet simplicity of his lyrics. “I’m gonna watch those cotton candy clouds float on past I’m going somewhere where I know I’m going nowhere fast ♫ ♪ like a lazy Sunday drive ♫ ♪ feeling good to be alive ♫ ♪ leave all my troubles in the past”.
“Raise Your Bottle” is an important song to Aaron! His father came home from war a disabled vet he knows firsthand the sacrifices our military families make! He wanted to honor them past, present and future, therefore every penny of profit ever earned on the CD goes to help the troops. The proceeds go to the “boot campaign”, which is a grassroots movement begun by 5 women to raise proceeds to help the military families adjust to living upon their return. A very small percentage of the money raised by them goes towards “operational” costs. The vast majority of it goes to “cultivate awareness of the challenges they (our servicemen) face upon return and raise funds for military programs meeting the physical and emotional needs of our heroes.”
Aaron wants to make music his kids can be proud of and I must say mission accomplished once again!! The musicality of the CD is steeped in Country tradition with Aarons flare for “Aesop’s fable” type lyrical stories. I know you have heard one of my favorites lots in the review, simply because it is a must have CD!
– Nickie Techmanski – Guest Writer