Sun Midnight Sun, the second solo album from acclaimed singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Sara Watkins, will be released May 8 on Nonesuch Records in North America, and May 28 outside North America. Produced by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Blake Mills, co-founder of the band Simon Dawes, the album features special guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Benmont Tench, and Sean Watkins. The album is available to pre-order on in the Nonesuch Store with an exclusive 9x12” print signed by Watkins.
Sun Midnight Sun follows Sara Watkins’ critically acclaimed 2009 self-titled solo debut produced by John Paul Jones. NPR said Sara Watkins “puts her great instrumental breadth on display as she plays the guitar, ukulele and fiddle in addition to her sweet-voiced singing,” and the Kansas City Star called it a record “for anyone who likes the sound of a good singer and a good band hammering out good music.” In celebration of the release of Sun Midnight Sun, Watkins will embark on a nationwide tour this spring and summer, including a series of special tour dates with Dawes. See below for all of the currently scheduled dates; for additional details and ticket links, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.
In the three years since her last release, Watkins has been busy touring the world as guest fiddle player and vocalist with the Decemberists and joining Garrison Keillor on his nationwide Summer Love performance tours, as well as acting as his first and only guest host for A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts.
Sun Midnight Sun was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shawn Everett at Zeitgeist Studio, Los Angeles, and includes songs written by Watkins (“You and Me,” “Take Up Your Spade”) as well as several collaborations with Mills (“The Foothills,” “Be There,” “The Accord,” “Impossible,” and “Lock and Key”). It also features songs by Dan Wilson (“When It Pleases You”) and Willie Nelson (“I’m a Memory”), and a rendition of The Everly Brothers classic “You’re the One I Love,” on which Fiona Apple duets with Watkins. A limited-edition 7” of “You’re the One I Love” will be made available Saturday, April 21, as part of the fifth-annual Record Store Day. Paste has premiered "When It Pleases You"; listen at pastemagazine.com.
Watkins first gained recognition as a founding member of the Grammy Award–winning, platinum-selling trio Nickel Creek. When not on the road or in the studio, Watkins has guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by Béla Fleck, the Chieftains, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Alex Woodward, among others. Additionally, Watkins and her brother Sean continue an informal residency called the Watkins Family Hour at the L.A. club Largo, which often includes surprise cameos from friends and colleagues; free podcasts from the series are also available.
SARA WATKINS ON TOUR
||Old Tyme Wonderland
||College Station, TX
||The Blue Door
||Oklahoma City, OK
||Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
||Saint Louis, MO
||Old Town School of Folk Music
||High Noon Saloon
||Cedar Cultural Center
||San Diego, CA
||Largo at the Coronet†
||Los Angeles, CA
||Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center*
||Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival*
||Three Rivers Arts Festival*
||The Melting Point*
||The Orange Peel*
||New York, NY
||Newport Folk Festival
† w/ Watkins Family Hour for L.A. Bluegrass Situation
* opening for Dawes