Aaron Watson’s fans have been begging him to release a holiday album for years and in 2018 he finally delivered on their request. An Aaron Watson Family Christmas was recorded in July at Watson’s home in Texas, and the country singer laughs as he recalls hanging Christmas lights in his wife’s closet where his family provided vocals for 10 of the album’s tracks.
“We canceled our family vacation this summer,” he tells Sounds Like Nashville. “We decided to do a little staycation. We would grill out and swim and go fishing at the house. Then we would go inside for a couple of hours and we would sing all these Christmas songs in my wife’s closet where I had all my recording gear set up. It was so fun! We made the best memories.”
Watson’s wife, Kimberly, and their three kids, Jake (12), Jack (11) and Jolee Kate (8) are a major part of the album. He said it was a no-brainer when he asked the kids if they wanted to take part on the project as they love to sing. His wife, however, was a different story.
“The real thing was convincing my wife to sing with me because she’s kind of shy, but I know she can sing because I hear her singing in church. Getting her onboard was a little bit challenging at first but she just did so good,” he raves. “I love her voice because she has this really soft, sweet, beautiful voice. It kind of reminds me of the way the women would sing in the ’30s and ’40s, kind of airy.”
Kimberly is featured on several of the album’s tracks including “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Jingle Bells,” while their kids sing on “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and one of Watson’s all-time favorites, “Christmas Time Is Here.” On the latter Jolee Kate sings lead.
“Hearing her little voice on that, it literally just melted me,” he gushes. “To have her brother read ‘The True Meaning of Christmas’ like Linus did on A Charlie Brown Christmas during the solo, it was a really special moment. It already brings tears to my eyes, so years from now when they’re grown up I’ll be a mess. Making this album with the family, it’s a memory that I’ll always cherish. It was a really sweet, sweet experience for me.”
Watson penned the album’s leadoff track “Lonely Lonestar Christmas.” The Texas native says he’s had the song’s concept for a while and had to let listeners know right away that he’s a Texas boy.
“I’ve been playing Texas music for 20 years. It’s very predictable and cliché of me to kick off with a Texas Christmas song,” he admits. “I just felt like that’s what I’m supposed to do, and it was fun. It’s got that old-school Sinatra thing going on, so I really enjoyed singing it.”
Watson describes An Aaron Watson Family Christmas as “Frank Sinatra on the farm” and he couldn’t be more accurate. With several holiday classics including “The Christmas Waltz,” “Silent Night” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” he blends the old holiday favorites with a distinct country flair.
While releasing An Aaron Watson Family Christmas has finally satisfied his longtime fans, Watson hints that this may not be the last holiday album for his family. In fact, his kids have already asked when they’re going to record another one.
“I love that idea. We’ll have to make An Aaron Watson Family Christmas Volume II,” he says with a laugh.