It’s been 14 years since Sara Watkins, along with her brother Sean Watkins and friend Chris Thile, blew up the bluegrass scene as Nickel Creek. With their second, critically acclaimed album This Side, produced by Allison Krauss, Watkins became a fiddle sensation in a group that somehow bridged the divide between the picking festivals and the pop charts. Since the group took a hiatus in 2007, Watkins has released two solo albums, toured in the Decembrists, and produced the Watkins Family Hour, a monthly variety show and podcast held at Los Angeles’ Largo Theatre that’s featured guests like Jackson Browne, Booker T., Fiona Apple, and John C. Reilly.
Now, Watkins is back with her first album of songs all written or co-written by herself, Young in All the Wrong Ways. It marks a new space in Watkins career, so storied it belies her age; one where she stakes out her own view and claims the contradictory, frustrating, exciting, and rebellious perspectives she’s gained on her own terms.
While the video for Watkins’ single “Move Me” shows her at a turbulent dinner party, fed up by the banality of certainty in the form squishing deviled eggs and throwing salad, the acoustic demo we’re premiering shows a more earnest side of the song where the sparse background allows the desperation of her lyrics and timbre to come through.
“Sometimes our patterns can become just a safe means to an end,” says Watkins. “Not necessarily a desired or satisfying end – just an end. Around the time of making this record, I was feeling the burn of frustration at this and realizing I wanted more.”
Watkins is currently playing at sea with the Prairie Home Companion Cruise to Alaska, but she’ll begin her tour September 9th in Pasadena, California, and make her way to the South on September 24th at Atlanta’s City Winery. Click here for more tour info or to order Young in All the Wrong Ways.