American Songwriter magazine said this about CJ Watson’s “The Everything Songwriting Book”: “You won't want to miss a single page … while no book can cover every aspect of songwriting, this one certainly comes the closest. This is a reference every songwriter should own.”
His songs have been recorded by James Otto (Mercury), Lisa Shaffer (Lyric Street), Jason Whitehorn (Arista), Mustang Sally (Curb) and others and Trent Jeffcoat (Montage) made a video of Watson’s "Forever Hold My Peace". He was interviewed in “The 2004 Songwriter’s Market” and, along with “The Everything Songwriting Book” (©2003 Adams Media), is the author of, “Extreme Questions” (©2002 Nelson) and “Essential Songwriting” (©2006 Adams Media).
In addition to writing full-time and touring with his band, the Evertones, CJ travels around the US, giving seminars and workshops for ProMusicU and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He was the keynote speaker at the 2005 Chicago Songwriter’s Conference and a featured speaker at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Nashville Songwriters Festivals.
In 2008, CJ won the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival ‘New Folk’ Award for songwriting. Past winners include Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Hal Ketchum, Nanci Griffith and Townes Van Zandt.
On the performance end, he was singer and lead guitarist for the band Milwaukee Iron, the first rock band to tour China. Other ‘gigs of note’ include playing for our troops at the ‘closeout party’ for the Panama Canal and the Y2K celebration in Iwakuni, Japan. CJ has also shared the stage with Brad Paisley, The Byrds, Shawn Mullins, Wanda Jackson, Blake Shelton, The Pointer Sisters, Rascall Flatts, Bad Company, Don Williams, Anthony Smith, The Georgia Satellites, Foghat, Dr. Hook, Chad Brock, Juice Newton, Black Oak Arkansas, Humble Pie, Great Divide and many others. He has performed and recorded with Songwriter’s Hall of Fame members Don Wayne, Danny Dill, Jimmy Payne and Dick Feller and played a sold out tour of the Gulf Coast with hit songwriters Brett Jones and Walt Aldridge.
His songs have garnered airplay on National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered", on the Rick and Bubba syndicated morning show and on NPR’s "Car Talk." He also emceed the 2006 Miss Plus America pageant.
He was a founding cast member and staff writer for public radio’s “Roadside Attraction”, was a frequent guest on WSM-AM’s "Opry Star Spotlight", played on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree for a radio audience in the millions and holds the distinction of being the only performer ever to receive a “Standing O” award from Hobo Joe’s Songwriter Café in Nashville.
Before becoming a full-time writer, CJ released a top 10 Indie single on Pristine Records. He’s been called “a true genius” (Ralph Murphy, ASCAP VP of Membership and ProMusicU Advisory Board member), "a brilliant writer" (Chris P. James, editor, Shake magazine), an “amazing guitar virtuoso” (Buzzy Renales, president, Cubbyhole Records), ‘the best unknown writer to hit Nashville in a decade” (Bart Herbison, Executive Director, Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI)) and “a pretty good cook” (Jaime Babbitt, diva for hire).
“That mother****** can sing the blues!” (Bonnie Bramlett).
If you ask him, CJ will say that some of the most important work he does is in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s ‘Words and Music’ program, teaching songwriting to elementary and middle school children. Last year, he was chosen to represent the program at the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival.