Sun Midnight Sun, the second solo album from singer/songwriter/fiddle player Sara Watkins, is due out next week, May 8. But you don't need to wait till then to hear it. The album, which was produced by Blake Mills and features special guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Benmont Tench, and Sean Watkins, is streaming in full all this week as an NPR First Listen. Sun Midnight Sun includes songs written by Watkins, several collaborations with Mills, songs by Dan Wilson and Willie Nelson, and a rendition of The Everly Brothers classic “You’re the One I Love,” a duet with Fiona Apple. The album is available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store, along with include an exclusive 9x12" print signed by Watkins.
"Like her former Nickel Creek bandmate Chris Thile, Sara Watkins paints on a canvas called roots music, only to delve into any number of adjacent genres," says NPR's Stephen Thompson. "As accessible and comfortably sweet-voiced as Watkins' music is, she's smart enough to spike it with surprises."
And even with all the top-notch collaborations featured on Sun Midnight Sun, "the album embodies her own versatility more than anything," Thompson concludes. "She's a subtle star, but a star nonetheless."
Read more and listen to the album in its entirety now at npr.org.
Watkins, who earlier this month launched a US tour that includes headlining shows, a series of special tour dates with Dawes, and a number of summer festival sets, has now extended her tour through the summer as very special guest of one of her album contributors, Jackson Browne. Their tour begins July 14 at the Belk Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina, and runs through mid-August. Tour highlights include concerts at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia; the Beacon Theatre in New York City; and Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Jackson will be donating $1 from each ticket sold on his US acoustic tour to charity. Tickets go on sale this week. See below for all of the currently scheduled tour dates; for additional information, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.
SARA WATKINS ON TOUR
||San Diego, CA
||Largo at the Coronet†
||Los Angeles, CA
||Kirk Avenue Music Hall
||The Southern Cafe and Music Hall
||Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center*
||Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival
||Three Rivers Arts Festival
||Smith's Olde Bar
||The Melting Point*
||The Orange Peel*
||New York, NY
||Spirit of the 4th
||Rancho Bernardo, CA
||Belk Theater, Blumenthal PAC**
||North Charleston PAC**
||North Charleston, SC
||The Carpenter Center**
||Filene Center, Wolf Trap**
||Academy of Music**
||Newport Folk Festival
||Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion**
||New York, NY
||MAC Center, Monmouth University**
||West Long Branch, NJ
||Whitney Hall, The Kentucky Center**
||Cleveland Heights, OH
† w/ Watkins Family Hour for L.A. Bluegrass Situation
* opening for Dawes
** very special guest of Jackson Browne