Nonesuch Records has announced that the debut solo project for former Nickel Creek fiddler and vocalist Sara Watkins will be released in April 7, 2009. The CD was produced by John Paul Jones, and will include guest spots from former NC bandmates Chris Thile – who also records for Nonesuch – and her brother Sean.
From the label’s description, it appears that her new album will hew closer to the Nickel Creek mold than Thile’s more adventurous acoustic direction, mixing folk, pop and fiddle music.
Watkins segues gracefully from the lighthearted country and western swing of Jimmie Rodger’s Any Old Time, to the world-weariness and spiritual yearning of Norman Blake’s Lord Won’t You Help Me, to the romantic wistfulness of Jon Brion’s Same Mistake. Though she still considers herself a neophyte as a songwriter, her own work is as evocative as any of the material she’s chosen to cover. Her wordless fiddle tunes are exuberant, foot-stomping pieces, while the songs for which she wrote both music and lyrics have a heart-meltingly lovelorn quality.
Jones, who made his name as the bass player with Led Zeppelin in the 1970s, has been actively involved in folk and acoustic music of late. He produced the most recent project from Uncle Earl, Waterloo, Tennessee.