Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek began hosting weekly Watkins Family Hour event in L.A. during a Creek hiatus, attracting all-star lineup of players. A self-titled Watkins Family Hour album was released in 2015, promoted with a performance on Conan (October 1) and an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert. Consisting of only covers, the album mirrored the experience of their residency and featured guests Fiona Apple, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, Sebastian Steinberg, and Benmont Tench.
A new Watkins Family Hour album, brother sister, was released in April 2020 via Family Hour Records/Thirty Tigers. Their first release in five years, the album focuses on the musical and lyrical chemistry between Sara and Sean. Produced by Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara), it features seven original songs co-written by Sara and Sean as well as three new covers: Courtney Hartman and Taylor Ashton’s “Neighborhood Name,” Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like A Martyr” and Charley Jordan’s “Keep It Clean,” which features special guest vocalists David Garza, Gaby Moreno and John C. Reilly.
In summer 2022, Sara and Sean Watkins celebrated 20 years of the Watkins Family Hour with their third studio album, Vol. II, preceded by a single for “Hypnotized.” The 11-track album features longtime friends of the show such as Fiona Apple, Jon Brion, Jackson Browne, Madison Cunningham, Lucius, Gaby Moreno, Benmont Tench, and Willie Watson.
(Photo: Jacob Boll)