Aaron Watson says Kristofferson, Willie, Pink Floyd and the Beatles helped him put on his "Red Bandana"

BIG Label Records

Aaron Watson's been a successful independent artist in Texas for two decades, even sending records like 2015's The Underdog to the top of the Billboard country albums chart.

But today, with the release of Red Bandana, he's taking independent to the next level.

"The new record has twenty new songs. I wrote 'em all, all by myself," Aaron says proudly. "Every song has a story. Every song is something personal. You know, there's fun moments, there's heartache, there's tempo, lots of dynamics."

At this point in his career, the "Outta Style" hitmaker feels he's come into his own as a songwriter.

"I love the quote -- I never understood it for a long time -- but..Kris Kristofferson said write a thousand songs, then throw 'em away," Aaron explains. "And I think I'm at that point in my career where, as a songwriter, I know what I'm doing. I know my brand of country music."

Aaron confesses it's a conviction that sometimes won't let him sleep.

"A song will wake me up in the middle of the night," he tells ABC Radio. "And it's not one of those, like 'Aw! I gotta get up.' It's like, 'I've gotta capture lightning in a bottle.' That moment's there. I've gotta write it down. I gotta get it."

Ultimately, Aaron traveled down some pretty unexpected roads for Red Bandana.

"I was listening to some crazy stuff," he reveals. "You know, like Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, studying their transitions... Willie Nelson Red-Headed Stranger... Beatles' White Album."

"It was all about the music, and I wanted to not just put out a random set of songs, I wanted to give my fans an experience," says Aaron.

Part of the Red Bandana experience is its first single, the uptempo "Kiss That Girl Goodbye."

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