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Sara Watkins


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Audio CD, April 7, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Sara Watkins's self-titled debut, eagerly anticipated by the significant fan base she's built after nearly two decades as fiddle player and
vocalist for Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek, boasts an easygoing virtuosity. The youthful Watkins, who joined Nickel Creek
when she was barely in her teens, displays formidable skill as a multi - instrumentalist, playing the guitar and ukelele as well as the fiddle,
and is just as versatile, and breathtakingly mature, as a singer. Watkins incorporates folk, country, gospel, and pop into her 14-song set,
produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville. She's joined by a wide range of old friends and longtime heroes, including alt-country duo Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, and Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas; colleagues from the bluegrass world like Tim O' Brien, Punch Brothers Chris
Eldridge, Ronnie McCoury, and Rayna Gellert; and Nickel Creek band-mates Chris Thile and Sean Watkins.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. All This TIme 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Long Hot Summer Days 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. My Friend 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Freiderick 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Same Mistakes 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Any Old Time 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pony 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Lord Won't You Help Me 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Jefferson 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Give Me Jesus 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Bygones 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Too Much 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Will We Go 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Where Will You Be 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B001L5J5CW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,533 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By E. C Goodstein on April 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It is true that much of this album is on the quiet side-- but there's a lot there if you delve. Not as experimental as her Nickel Creek bandmate Chris Thile's solos-- and if her voice bears comparison to Alison Kraus, there's a different, somewhat 'bluer' aspect, kinship with Gillian Welch (who guests here). The most striking tracks for me are the sad and gorgeous 'Pony' by Tom Waits (almost an update of 'Old Paint,' but with some kind of modern twists), the lovingly rendered simple Gospel of 'Give Me Jesus,'the spare, beautiful ballad closer 'Where Will You Be,' and the Celtic drone in the short but powerful 'Bygones.' A few are more pop, and nice more upbeat renderings of 'Long Hot Summer Day' and 'Any Old Time." Though I like 'em, I wish the instrumentals were a little more expansive/experimental--
but effective interludes in the context of the whole album. I also like the layered (if mostly unplugged), subtle accompaniment. The gentle 'acoustic' sheen may make the album seem very slight: for me though it definitely rewards repeated listens, revealing much each time.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Roberts on April 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Nickel Creek's appeal was a youthful, fresh, crisp, clean approach to both folk and bluegrass. They did each style well. Sara's style leans far to the folk side and the quality is as good as ever. The foot stomping rhythms are there at times, but the more delicate vocals and fiddle work are the centerpiece. The album's melodies are complex, addictive, and exceed what any artist should be able to produce for their first solo album. The album is peppered with hooks, yet full of depth. Every song on the album feels new and more original than your typical folk album. Sara Watkins' album pulls off the same thing Nickel Creek did for bluegrass, a broader appeal, a fresh sound, and a new perspective on what young singer-songwriters can do.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on August 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Like many fans, I was pretty broken up when Nickel Creek stopped playing together. When I heard Sara Watkins had a CD coming, I was pretty certain I was going to get it.

The CD's a little quieter than I'd hoped for, yet, there are some brilliant spots. Love the bluesy spiritual feel of "Long Hot Summer Day." "Pony" almost brought me to tears. Then again, what can I say--it's Tom Waits. "Lord Won't you Help Me" is a great road song and it's good to hear Watkins with Gillian Welch.

If you're a fan of Nickel Creek and just want a fix, getting Sara Watkins' CD isn't such a bad idea. If you enjoy bluesy-roots music, you're also going to like this collection.

Rebecca Kyle, August 2009
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rushmore VINE VOICE on January 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was barely aware of Nickel Creek before, and in this case I think it is a good thing.

I love Sara Watkins's voice. She reminds me a little of Sally Dworsky, and coincidentally both came to my attention via Prairie Home Companion.

The songs are gentle, melancholy, and the musicianship is really excellent. Sometimes the strings sound Scandinavian to me.

This is a fine, mature effort with a new sound (to me, anyway). Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By splibmo on November 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
if you like buddy and julie miller, gillian welch, allison kraus, justin townes earle or lucinda williams you will love this album. its too bad that these people do not get any promotion because they make the best recorded music and you do not want to miss their live sets.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Music Reviewer on April 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In Nickel Creek's albums it was clear that Sara Watkins had a very unique and wonderful voice, and those songs where she was handed the reins were always quite excellent (such as "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" and "Anthony" from Nickel Creek's "Why Should the Fire Die?"). So I was curious to see how she would do in her first solo effort.

I'll start with the songs themselves, which sadly are not up to the level I would have hoped. The majority of the songs are rather standard country fare, slow-ish bittersweet ballads, which while sounding nice don't really stand out and frankly start to all sound alike. Where Nickel Creek's albums were innovative and flowing, this album's song choices are restrained and seem stuck in one style. The two instrumentals (Frederick and Jefferson) are pretty good, but I enjoy that type of music and it may not be for everyone.

There are only two songs which break away from the somewhat plodding style of the rest of the album. The first, "Long Hot Summer Days", works magnificently and is the highlight of the album. It's more up tempo than the rest of the album, has a lot of interesting things happening in it instrumentation-wise, and really is the perfect vehicle for demonstrating what is enjoyable about Watkins' vocals. This was exactly the type of song I was hoping for from this album. The second, "Too Much", unfortunately breaks the other direction. It's easily the most "poppy" of any of the songs, and frankly seems completely out of place. Unfortunately, it's also not very good. This song probably would be a train wreck with most artists, and while Watkins' vocals sort of save it, they don't do so entirely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sawyer on July 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Sara Watkins has created a respectable solo album, after many years as a 1/3 part of the trilogy which made up the Nicklecreek singer/songwriters. Her voice is airy, clear, and delicate, perfectly tailored to her own compositions - especially effective are "All This Time", "My Friend", and "Will We Go". She also quite beautifully, and effectively, sings other's songs, most particularly - Jon Brion's "Same Mistakes", Jimmie Rodger's "Any Old Time", and Tom Wait's "Pony". She is less successful with faster, rougher music - "Long Hot Summer Days" and "Too Much" really overwhelm her voice, and the 2 instrumentals are okay, but not great. Yes, Sara's an excellent fiddle player, but "Freiderick" and "Jefferson" are too short. They seem more experimental, rather than important musical contributions. All in all, a pretty good CD, a good beginning for Sara as a soloist.
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