For singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, the Watkins Family Hour has long been an oasis from the rigors of the road, a laboratory where they can try out new material or master beloved cover songs. Their monthly show at L.A.’s famed venue Largo has been hailed as a convivial, communal event where they welcome an impressive array of musician friends old and new.
They recently released their self-titled debut album to much anticipated fan appreciation. All 11 of the record’s tracks are covers, including their version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Steal Your Heart Away,” a cover of the Disney tune “Not in Nottingham” and a version of the Grateful Dead‘s “Brokedown Palace.”
The album, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, beautifully captures the freewheeling spirit of the shows. It features Fiona Apple and the stellar players who have become a de facto house band: drummer Don Heffington, pedal steel and dobro player Greg Leisz, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, each of whom take a vocal turn at the mic.
In addition to releasing the new record, the Watkins Family Hour have kicked off a tour, taking their monthly Los Angeles show on the road all over the country.
“Taking the Watkins Family Hour on tour and releasing this record feels like the right next step,” member Sara Watkins says.
“The show is about a community of players, and that community stretches across the country. If we can’t get everyone to LA to do our show, we’ll come to them.
“… It’s the people on stage who make that happen; it’s just a matter of getting the right group of people together,” Watkins continues. “We are being thoughtful about where we are going so we can have that sort of flexibility. It will be a very different show in every town.”
See tour dates and the new music video below!
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“Steal Your Heart Away”-The Watkins Family Hour