Watkins remains "Young in All the Wrong Ways"
Thursday, April 21, 2016
– Sara Watkins, one-third of Nickel Creek, has signed a record deal with New West Records.
Watkins will release "Young In All The Wrong Ways" on July 1.
Watkins , who also plays with Watkins Family Hour, described the 10-song disc as a "breakup album with myself." She will launch a tour in the fall, which will go to Europe.
The sonics range from B3 organ and jagged electric guitar to quiet sounds. "I looked around and realized that in many ways I wasn't who or where I wanted to be," said Watkins, who has been playing professionally since the age of eight. "It's been a process of letting go and leaving behind patterns and relationships and in some cases how I've considered myself. What these songs are documenting is the turmoil you feel when you know something has to change and you're grappling with what that means. It means you're losing something and moving forward into the unknown."
Watkins just finished a seven-week tour with Patty Griffin and Anais Mitchell as part of the League of Women Voters' Use Your Voice Tour in an effort to drive voter engagement and education. She returns to the road in June for a series of performances, including Bonnaroo, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Kennedy Center in D.C., Rough Trade in Brooklyn and a hometown record release show in Los Angeles at Largo at the Coronet on July 7.
On release day, Watkins will take part in Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Watkins premiered the video for her first single today on NPR. She described the song as starting as a "gentle country-pop arrangement" that builds to "full-on, hair-flinging '90s-goddess rock." Directed by director/photographer Allister Ann (The Civil Wars), the video features Watkins at a dining table with her perfect mid-century American family having Sunday brunch. As she intensely sings about wanting to be "moved," as day-glo gelatin "salads" and a cornucopia of '50s and '60s dishes are passed around, the others at the table are oblivious to her.
"This song came out of feelings of frustration with some relationships that had gotten stale or outdated," Watkins said. "Sometimes with old acquaintances and friends, and even family, we keep conversation to the surface for fear of rocking a boat. But in order for forward motion, sometimes there has to be disruption."
"Young In All The Wrong Ways" was produced by Gabe Witcher at United Recording (formerly Ocean Way) in Hollywood last year. Watkins wrote and recorded the album during a period when she was without a manager and record label.
The band for the recording included two of Witcher's fellow Punch Brothers, guitarist Chris Eldridge and bass player Paul Kowert, and musicians Jon Brion and Jay Bellerose. Watkins' band mates in her trio, I'm With Her - Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan - harmonize with her throughout - and Jim James of My Morning Jacket provides a vocal foil on "One Last Time." "I've known these guys for a long time, so there's a personal trust as well as a musical trust," Watkins said.
Watkins wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs - a first for her. While known for her fiddling playing, Watkins opted for electric guitar on many songs.
The track list is:
1. Young In All The Wrong Ways
2. The Love That Got Away
3. One Last Time
4. Move Me
5. Like New Year's Day
6. Say So
7. Without A Word
8. The Truth Won't Set Us Free
Tour dates are:
June 12 - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
June 17 - Telluride, CO @ Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 22 - Portsmouth, NH @ Prescott Park Arts Festival
June 23 - Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center Atrium - American Acoustic
June 24 - Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center Concert Hall - American Acoustic (as I'm With Her)
June 25 - Katonah, NY @ American Roots Music Festival
June 26 - Shirley, MA @ The Bull Run
June 28 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
July 1 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl - "A Prairie Home Companion"
July 7 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo at the Coronet
July 13 - Vail, CO @ Vail Summer Bluegrass Series
July 14 - Boulder, CO @ eTown Hall
July 16 - Oak Hill, NY @ Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
Aug. 13 - Alta, WY @ Targhee Fest
Sept. 3 - Pagosa Springs, CO @ Four Corners Folk Festival
Sept. 9 - Pasadena, CA @ Levitt Pavilion @ Memorial Park
Sept. 10 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Lobero Theatre
Sept. 14 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Sept. 16 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre
Sept. 17 - Seattle, WA @ The Tractor
Sept. 20 - Minneapolis, MN @ Dakota Jazz Club
Sept. 21 - Chicago, IL @ Old Town School Of Folk Music
Sept. 24 - Atlanta, GA @ City Winery
Sept. 25 - Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
Sept. 27 - Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage
Sept. 28 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
Sept. 20 - Pawling, NY @ Daryl's House
Oct. 1 - Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Oct. 2 - Portland, ME @ One Longfellow Square
Oct. 3 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
Oct. 5 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Oct. 6 - Washington, DC @ The Hamilton
Oct. 9 - Peninsula, OH @ The G.A.R. Hall
Nov. 2 - Dublin, IE @ Whelan's
Nov. 3 - Belfast, IE @ Errigle Inn
Nov. 4 - Bury, UK @ Met
Nov. 5 - Gateshead, UK @ The Sage
Nov. 6 - Sheffield, UK @ Greystones
Nov. 8 - Bristol, UK @ Tunnels
Nov. 10 - London, UK @ Bush Hall
Nov. 11 - Oxford, UK @ Bullingdon
Nov. 12 - Guildford, UK @ St. Mary's
Nov. 13 - Saltaire, UK @ Live at Caroline
Nov. 30 - Lincoln, NE @ Lied Center
More news for Sara Watkins
CD reviews for Sara Watkins
Young in All the Wrong Ways
Sara Watkins' voice is powerful. "Young In All The Wrong Ways" showcases her instrument admirably. Watkins burst upon the music scene in 1989, as part of Nickel Creek, teaming with her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile. Nickel Creek had a solid run of recording and live music performances for a couple of decades before the members spread out into other collaborations (Nickel Creek has played a few festival dates most years, alongside their other projects). »»»
Sun Midnight Sun
Well, so much for the sweet, adorable Sara Watkins. After an endearing, cuddly solo debut in 2009 that included her foot-stomping rendition of John Hartford's Long Hot Summer Day, Watkins adds a new wrinkle with her latest effort: an edgy, sometimes angry attitude.
Bathing her songs in a folky-bluegrass setting with an array of way-cool guests, If It Pleases You is a defiant flip-off while Willie Nelson's I'm a Memory seethes with open hostility as Watkins and brother Sean rage »»»
As a member of Nickel Creek, Sara Watkins' considerable contributions as a musician, vocalist and songwriter were often overshadowed by the sheer presence, charisma and talent of mandolin wiz Chris Thile. But now with the release of her solo debut, Watkins steps out from behind that large shadow and asserts herself as an artist worthy of the spotlight.
Back in 2000, Watkins and her Nickel Creek mates (Thile and her brother Sean Watkins) joined forces with singer/songwriter Glen Phillips »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers
When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience
Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
For most artists, eight years is a fair amount of time in their careers. For Nikki Lane, eight years represents the entirety of her recorded history, and she's filled that relatively short time span with a highlight reel of impressive accomplishments, not the least of which would be actually... »»»
For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone...... »»»
There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves... »»»
The stunning vocal of Travis Meadows on the opening track, "Sideways," brims with honesty, pain and hard-earned wisdom as he offers a blend of confession and advice, stimulated by an experience at an adolescent addiction treatment center. Meadows, like many, is one of those Nashville songwriters ("Riser" for Dierks Bentley and "What We Ain't Got" for Jake Owen), but is finding his own voice relatively late in life. »»»
The Long Awaited Album
When last we visited a new album from Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, 2011's "Rare Bird Alert," we found a cohesive, focused collection of bluegrass; it was an expansive, artistic creation that only benefited the bluegrass community. A subsequent live album (strikingly entitled "Live") presented a continued refinement of this pairing's chemistry. »»»
Bidin' My Time
With all the memorable music Chris Hillman created with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and Desert Rose Band, he has nothing left to prove. He's a both a bona fide rock and country icon. Tom Petty, who owes an obvious debt to Hillman's...
Turmoil & Tinfoil
Billy Strings. It takes a lot of nerve to adopt such a nom de plume (in this case nom de guerre might be more appropriate) in the bluegrass world, but Billy Strings is up to the challenge, and more. Strings (real name William Apostol) grew up in Michigan, surrounded by musicians. »»»
Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls
Jon Langford shifts musical gears as effortlessly as a European race car driver on a Grand Prix course. Looking at the totality of his career (The Mekons, Waco Brothers, Skull Orchard, the Three Johns, Wee Hairy Beasties, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Bad Luck Jonathan, God knows what else), it hardly seems as though one peg could have fit into all those oddly shaped holes... »»»
Larry Campbell and Teresa Campbell could have been content to retain their status as musicians on call, given the fact that they've loaned their services to any number of high profile employers -- Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash, Mavis Staples, Levon Helm, Little... »»»