Aaron Watson Details ‘Cover Girl’ Project at Live In The Vineyard Goes Country

Aaron Watson has his 13-year-old daughter, Jolee Kate Watson, to thank for Cover Girl, his forthcoming collection of covers.

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Watson’s daughter was discussing her favorite female artists with her father, which inspired the singer to share the female artists that have influenced him. These acts include Chrissie Hynde, Nanci Griffith, and Emmylou Harris.

“I’m totally geeking out, telling her about all this stuff,” he tells American Songwriter at Live In the Vineyard Goes Country. “It’s been fun to tell Jolee to dig deeper. ‘Let’s see what makes these songs great songs. They’re writers. They play.’”

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Music runs in the Watson family as Jolee also is always writing songs and poems, the country singer says. “We go through, and I read a lot of her poems and she has melodies with stuff,” the proud father says. “She thinks it’s really cool that I know Liz Rose.”

The singer recalls visiting Rose’s house in the ’90s. Friends with Rose’s son Scott, Watson remembers asking him what all the guitars in his home were for.

“He was like, ‘My mom’s a songwriter or something,’” Watson recalls. “And then you fast forward years later. I knew her before it was just her dream. … I think the best motivation for me now is that I want it more than I’ve ever wanted it. Also, my kids are watching.”

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In addition to watching, they’re also participating. Jolee urged Watson to cover a Taylor Swift song on his upcoming project so he enlisted his daughter to duet with him on the track.

“I was listening to these Taylor songs, and she showed me some that she wanted me to sing and I was like, ‘Jolee, I can’t sing this song. She’s angry at a boy. I’ve never had a boy break my heart. I don’t relate to this,’” he says. “That’s another thing I told her. I was like, ‘If you’re gonna sing someone else’s song, it needs to be a song that you believe in as well.’”

Combing through Swift’s catalog he did find a song he related to. The father and daughter covered “Never Grow Up,” out now. Watson says while listening to the song, he realized that he could sing it from a dad’s perspective to his daughter.

Watson also teamed with fellow independent country singer/songwriter Jenna Paulette for a cover of Rosanne Cash’s “Seven Year Ache.” Watson says Paulette is “like my little sister.” The pair have been writing together and Paulette previously toured with the singer.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we could get this artist and this artist,’ but then I thought, ‘You know what would be way cooler? If we did duets with all these independent female artists that are out there working really hard.’

“We’ve taken Jenna out on the road with us a lot. I mean, she’s so awesome. She’s so fun. She’s so theatrical, yet genuine. I mean, she works on a ranch during the week and goes honky tonkin’ on the weekends.”

Watson’s Cover Girl project will also feature Leigh Nash and Kylie Frey. Cover Girl is due out this fall. The singer is also working on another full band project expected next year.

“I’m in a fun place where we’ve had a lot of success on our own, but now I’m at a place where we can go for it all,” he adds. “I want to put out one of the best albums in country music next year. That’s the goal. I mean, Willie [Nelson] did not hit his stride until he was in his mid-40s. So, that’s where I’m very driven. I’m dialed into writing the best songs that I can write.”

(Photo Credit: Kim Watson / Elicity PR)

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