Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sara Watkins brings the artillery

Finally. A fresh album. No offense Music Industry, but the stacks of new albums that keep growing at our office is sure lacking a stand-out. Finally, one comes across that I know main stream radio will not acknowledge, and rightly so (no offense). On the other hand, I've listened to it twice already and can see NPR and folk/bluegrass programs salivating over this. Sara Watkins, one-third of the Grammy-winning, bluegrass-bending group Nickel Creek, is set to release a solo album from Nonesuch Records.

You hear me say "solo album" and you think it's a one person feature. Sara brought her A-game into the studios during the recording process. First off, let's add some Zeppelin with John Paul Jones backing her on nearly every track AND producing the album. And for those of you that keep tabs on country, bluegrass, americana and folk, some of these fellow pickers that also appear on her album will ring a loud bell: Chris Thile, David Rawlings, Sean Watkins, Greg Leisz, Benmont Tench, Rayna Gellert, Gillian Welch, Tim O'Brien, Mark Schatz, Chris Eldridge, Ronnie McCoury, Aoife O'Donovan...is that enough. Sara's self-titled album is set come out on in the beginning of April and is avail for pre-order now here. Not only will hear some glimpses of Nickel Creek bluegrass, but Sara continues to explore the talents of those around her with new spins of traditional songs, a few covers (Waits, John Hartford, Jimmie Rodgers, Norman Blake) and handful of songs penned by her and her ex Creek crew. As I said, this album is laced with talent and you'll hear intricate layering's of multiple instruments fused into a symphonic setting that never loses control. It's relaxing, complicated, composed, and topped off with Sara's bow and feathery voice. Not a bad way to start your Tuesday off. The only problem is choosing which song to post as no two are even remotely identical or indicative of the entire album. Ho-hum...

Sara Wakins - Where Will You Be

Sara Wakins - Freiderick

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