Aaron Watson's independently released album, The Underdog, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Released without the backing of a traditional record label or national radio push, The Underdog nonetheless became the week's second-highest overall debut.

"I wanted to raise the bar both musically and lyrically when making this record," Watson explains in a press release. "The Underdog is the album I always wanted to make. I'm excited about this record."

Watson has been a country music mainstay in his home state of Texas for the past 15 years, and he is excited about his "slow and steady" progress. "To be 15 years, 12 albums, and 2,000 shows into my career and to feel like I'm just getting started. Man, that's a good feeling."

Hailed as a "proud country traditionalist" by the New York Times, Watson has been compared to country greats like George Strait and Chris LeDoux. Rarely caught without his Stetson hat, the independent artist knows that perseverance and patience are essential ingredients for success. Many of the album's tracks present rich, storied accounts of unsung heroes who succeed through steadfastness.

"What we're doing right now is pretty much a 'David versus Goliath' kind of situation, because I've never been embraced by the music industry. There's only so many times you can be told you'll never make it," Watson notes during an interview with Rolling Stone Country. "At some point, you have to say, 'Hey, we're gonna need to take a different route to get where we're wanting to go.' And that's what we did. If someone shuts a door in your face, you don't let that stop you; you pick the lock, take it off its hinges or find another door that's open."

Visit Watson's website for information about his new album and upcoming tour dates.

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