JPR Live Session: Watkins Family Hour Live Session

Aug 20, 2015

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.

While it’s true that fans who aren’t lucky enough to be in L.A. and score a coveted ticket can check out the proceedings via Youtube or on the podcasts the Watkins siblings have created, the fun of these evenings is really in being there as the unscripted show unfolds.

The Watkins Family Hour is always full of surprises, unexpected guests, one-of-a-kind match-ups; serendipity plays as much of a role as virtuosity. Fiona Apple often joins them, and recent guests have included Dawes, Jackson Browne, Nikka Costa, Booker T. and actor-singer John C. Reilly, as well as comedians Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll and Pete Holmes.

In each town they visit, they extend an invitation to the many artists they’ve befriended over the years -- through their touring in Nickel Creek, as solo artists, and as frequent collaborators with other like-minded musicians from the worlds of bluegrass, folk, country and rock. “Taking the Watkins Family Hour on tour and releasing this record feels like the right next step,” says Sara. “The show is about a community of players and that community stretches across the country. If we can’t get everyone to L.A. to do our show, we’ll come to them.” “The Family Hour has always been something we’ve really loved,” echoes Sean. “It’s been an amazing outlet for us for so many years. Until recently we had thought of it as just an L.A. thing at Largo. But now we feel it’s time to take the show out to more people.

Folk singer/songwiter Tom Brousseau joined Sara and Sean in the studio.