As the first independent male country artist to top the Billboard chart with a self-released album, Amarillo country singer Aaron Watson has certainly carved a path outside of the Nashville music machine. In advance of the release of his newest album, Vaquero—which is out on February 24—Watson’s here to pay tribute to the footwear that carries him on that march: his old boots.

The idea that boots represent a steadfast commitment to authenticity wouldn’t have been too out of place in the classic country that Watson adores, with the singer honoring the values of loyalty and tradition that are represented by the boots on his feet—which will keep his feet warm when the winds are bitter cold, much like the love of his wife keeps his heart warm.

“‘These Old Boots Have Roots’ was inspired by the Johnny Cash song ‘I Walk The Line,’ as well as Johnny’s undying love for June, Jesus, and the many struggles he faced throughout his life,” Watson says. “I have my own personal struggles, both at home and on the road, and ‘These Old Boots Have Roots’ is my declaration—my manifesto—a vow to stay true to myself, my faith, my wife, my family, and the music I make.”

Watson addresses all of that—and more—in an upcoming profile in the March issue of Texas Monthly, which shines a light on the unlikely success of the Texas singer. Fans will get a chance to hear him perform “These Old Boots Have Roots” and a lot more in the months to come, too; the just-announced tour in support of Vaquero will send Watson to venues both famous and far-flung such as London’s The Garage, Waco’s Extraco Event Center, New York’s Webster Hall, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Wichita Falls’ Denim & Diamonds, and Hollywood’s Troubadour. Expect him to show up with his boots on.