Basic Folk 205 – Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek

Nickel Creek, the bluegrass trio who’s been in existence for almost 35 years, returns with their first original release in nine years. It’s brainy, it’s theatrical, its twists and turns are not predictable from its authors, who have entered mid-life. To that point, there is lots of middle on this album. The middle’s not the most exciting or thrilling part (see: beginning or ending), but there is plenty happening and plenty to celebrate. The band says that’s the feeling they want to convey through the record. Lucky us, we get to crawl into the band’s history and approach to the new music via folk fashion icon, Sara Watkins.

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Despite the focus on the middle, Sara gets into the beginning of her musical experience, talking of her practicing habits, musical summer camp, and being friends with 70 year old bluegrass players at the local pizza parlor. She also talks about her vocal prowess, particularly on “Where The Long Line Leads,” where she blazes; singing on the very edge of her voice and it’s so exciting. Of course we talk about her history of stage outfits, from mid-length skirts to fashionable jumpsuits, she’s done a lot of fashion in the folk world over the course of her career. Sara Watkins is a dream: From Nickel Creek, to I’m With Her and The Watkins Family Hour! Enjoy this wonderful person! Go get that Nickel Creek record – holy cow!

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