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Sara Watkins

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    Singer/songwriter/fiddle player Sara Watkins, who is best known as a founding member of the Grammy Award–winning, critically acclaimed, and platinum-selling band Nickel Creek, has made her self-titled debut solo album, recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville and produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

    Sara Watkins features a wide range of colleagues and old friends, including alt-country duo Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas; colleagues from the bluegrass world like Tim O’Brien, Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge, Ronnie McCoury, and Rayna Gellert; and her Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Thile and Sean Watkins. Already widely respected for her musical ability on the fiddle, Watkins’ skills as a vocalist and songwriter are highlighted on this solo project. She wrote or co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on the record, which also includes renditions of tracks by Jimmie Rodgers, Jon Brion, Norman Blake, and Tom Waits.

    When not on the road or in the studio with Nickel Creek, Watkins guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by Béla Fleck, the Chieftains, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Alex Woodward, among others. In addition, Watkins and her brother Sean established an informal residency called the Watkins Family Hour at the L.A. club Largo. It was there that she developed and fine-tuned the repertoire for the album: “I had lived with a lot of this material for a while. It was tested and tweaked through the years playing at Largo. Songs would come and go; these are the songs that have stuck.”

    Watkins got to know John Paul Jones when they briefly toured together in 2004 in an ad hoc group called Mutual Admiration Society. He had long encouraged her to make a record of her own, offering his services. As Watkins recalls, “A couple of years ago I saw John Paul Jones at the Cambridge folk festival. He came up after Nickel Creek’s performance and said that if I didn’t let him produce my record he would never talk to me again. I was thrilled that he was that excited about it.” She continues, “John was an absolute dream to work with. I can’t imagine anyone else with whom I would have felt more confident or comfortable. I think his undeniable musicianship and kindness made the ensemble on each song sound like a band that had played together for years.”

    The LP version includes the album on 12" vinyl, CD, and free MP3 download.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Sara Watkins, vocals (1-8, 10-14), fiddle (2, 5, 6, 9-13), ukulele (7)
    Greg Leisz, pedal steel (1, 5-7)
    Sean Watkins, guitar (1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13), harmony vocals (1, 5, 8), acoustic guitar (14)
    John Paul Jones, harmony vocals (1), bass (7, 8, 12-14), organ (11), electric piano (13), mandolin (13), piano (14)
    Pete Thomas, drums (1, 5, 6, 12, 14)
    Sebastian Steinberg, bass (1, 5, 6)
    Benmont Tench, piano (1, 5, 12)
    Byron House, bass (2)
    David Rawlings, drums (2), electric guitar (8), harmony vocals (8)
    Rayna Gellert, fiddle (2, 11)
    Gillian Welch, electric guitar (2, 8), harmony vocals (8)
    Billy Cardine, dobro (2)
    Tim O’Brien, harmony vocals (2, 6)
    Mark Schatz, bass (3, 9)
    Michael Witcher, dobro (3)
    Chris Eldridge, guitar (4), second guitar (7), harmony vocals (13)
    Ronnie McCoury, mandolin  (4, 9)
    Jon Brion, guitar (6, 7), electric guitar (12, 14)
    Chris Thile, mandola (10)
    Jenny Anne Mannan, harmony vocals (10)
    Luke Bulla, harmony vocals (10, 13)
    Aoife O’Donovan, harmony vocals (11, 12)
    Claire Lynch, harmony vocals (11)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by John Paul Jones
    Recorded by Dave Sinko at Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN and Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA
    Mixed by Dave Sinko at Studio 5 in Nashville, TN
    Mastered by Eric Conn at Independent Mastering LLC in Nashville, TN

    Photography by Jeremy Cowart
    Design by Wendy Stamberger

on November 24, 2008 - 11:40am
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

516987

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Sara Watkins
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597984002BUN
Price: 
13.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597983999
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597982756BUN
Price: 
21.00
Label: 
LP+CD+MP3
Description: 

Singer/songwriter/fiddle player Sara Watkins, who is best known as a founding member of the Grammy Award–winning, critically acclaimed, and platinum-selling band Nickel Creek, has made her self-titled debut solo album, recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville and produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Sara Watkins features a wide range of colleagues and old friends, including alt-country duo Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas; colleagues from the bluegrass world like Tim O’Brien, Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge, Ronnie McCoury, and Rayna Gellert; and her Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Thile and Sean Watkins. Already widely respected for her musical ability on the fiddle, Watkins’ skills as a vocalist and songwriter are highlighted on this solo project. She wrote or co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on the record, which also includes renditions of tracks by Jimmie Rodgers, Jon Brion, Norman Blake, and Tom Waits.

When not on the road or in the studio with Nickel Creek, Watkins guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by Béla Fleck, the Chieftains, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Alex Woodward, among others. In addition, Watkins and her brother Sean established an informal residency called the Watkins Family Hour at the L.A. club Largo. It was there that she developed and fine-tuned the repertoire for the album: “I had lived with a lot of this material for a while. It was tested and tweaked through the years playing at Largo. Songs would come and go; these are the songs that have stuck.”

Watkins got to know John Paul Jones when they briefly toured together in 2004 in an ad hoc group called Mutual Admiration Society. He had long encouraged her to make a record of her own, offering his services. As Watkins recalls, “A couple of years ago I saw John Paul Jones at the Cambridge folk festival. He came up after Nickel Creek’s performance and said that if I didn’t let him produce my record he would never talk to me again. I was thrilled that he was that excited about it.” She continues, “John was an absolute dream to work with. I can’t imagine anyone else with whom I would have felt more confident or comfortable. I think his undeniable musicianship and kindness made the ensemble on each song sound like a band that had played together for years.”

The LP version includes the album on 12" vinyl, CD, and free MP3 download.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

Singer/songwriter/fiddler Sara Watkins, a founding member of Nickel Creek, releases her self-titled debut solo album, produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and featuring eight self-penned tunes along with renditions of tracks by Jimmie Rodgers, Jon Brion, Norman Blake, and Tom Waits. Watkins "steps out with a confident stride with her debut solo release," says the BBC. Her “time in the spotlight is a triumph with her agile playing and the kind of voice that gives your goosebumps the shivers."

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Sara Watkins, vocals (1-8, 10-14), fiddle (2, 5, 6, 9-13), ukulele (7)
Greg Leisz, pedal steel (1, 5-7)
Sean Watkins, guitar (1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13), harmony vocals (1, 5, 8), acoustic guitar (14)
John Paul Jones, harmony vocals (1), bass (7, 8, 12-14), organ (11), electric piano (13), mandolin (13), piano (14)
Pete Thomas, drums (1, 5, 6, 12, 14)
Sebastian Steinberg, bass (1, 5, 6)
Benmont Tench, piano (1, 5, 12)
Byron House, bass (2)
David Rawlings, drums (2), electric guitar (8), harmony vocals (8)
Rayna Gellert, fiddle (2, 11)
Gillian Welch, electric guitar (2, 8), harmony vocals (8)
Billy Cardine, dobro (2)
Tim O’Brien, harmony vocals (2, 6)
Mark Schatz, bass (3, 9)
Michael Witcher, dobro (3)
Chris Eldridge, guitar (4), second guitar (7), harmony vocals (13)
Ronnie McCoury, mandolin  (4, 9)
Jon Brion, guitar (6, 7), electric guitar (12, 14)
Chris Thile, mandola (10)
Jenny Anne Mannan, harmony vocals (10)
Luke Bulla, harmony vocals (10, 13)
Aoife O’Donovan, harmony vocals (11, 12)
Claire Lynch, harmony vocals (11)

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by John Paul Jones
Recorded by Dave Sinko at Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN and Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA
Mixed by Dave Sinko at Studio 5 in Nashville, TN
Mastered by Eric Conn at Independent Mastering LLC in Nashville, TN

Photography by Jeremy Cowart
Design by Wendy Stamberger