Sara Watkins Sara Watkins on 180g 2LP from Warner Bros.
Nickle Creek Fiddler/Vocalist's Debut a Roots-Flavored, All-Star Experience
Produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones
Features Cameos by Gillian Welch, Benmont Tench, and Many Others
Sara Watkins’ self-titled debut, eagerly anticipated by the significant fan base she’s built after nearly two decades as fiddle player and vocalist for Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek, boasts an easygoing virtuosity. The youthful Watkins, who joined Nickel Creek when she was barely in her teens, displays formidable skill as a multi- instrumentalist, playing the guitar and ukelele as well as the fiddle, and is just as versatile, and breathtakingly mature, as a singer.
Watkins incorporates folk, country, gospel, and pop into a ravishing 14-song set, produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville. She’s joined here by a wide range of old friends and longtime heroes, including alt-country duo Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, and Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas. Colleagues from the bluegrass world like Tim O’Brien, and Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge, Ronnie McCoury, and Rayna Gellert. Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Thile and Sean Watkins also make appearances.
Watkins mixes eight of her own songs with covers of tunes by such artists as John Hartford, Tom Waits, and Davíd Garza. Her self-penned fiddle numbers are exuberant, foot-stomping instrumentals, while the songs for which she wrote both music and lyrics have a heart-meltingly lovelorn quality. Watkins knows how to channel in her own work the plaintive emotions of classic country and timeless pop. There’s honesty and empathy on tracks like the sweetly soulful “My Friend,” the brooding “Bygones,” and rueful album closer, “Where Will You Be.”
And she proves to be as astute as Emmylou Harris or Linda Ronstadt in her choice of covers, segueing gracefully from the aforementioned Waits, Garza, and Hartford to the lighthearted country-and-western swing of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Any Old Time,” to the world-weariness and spiritual yearning of Norman Blake’s “Lord Won’t You Help Me,” to the romantic wistfulness of Jon Brion’s “Same Mistakes.”
Don't pass up this rootsy masterwork by one of the most promising young talents playing Americana today!
Sara Watkins Sara Watkins Track Listing:
1. All This Time
2. Long Hot Summer Days
3. My Friend
5. Same Mistakes
6. Any Old Time
8. Lord Won’t You Help Me
10. Give Me Jesus
12. Too Much
13. Will We Go
14. Where Will You Be