Watkins Family Hour: Vol II review – a great night out with ringside seats

(Family Hour)
US siblings Sara and Sean Watkins are joined by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne and more on another set of old classics and new favourites in Nashville form

It takes a special chemistry for any residency to endure for 20 years. As much shines through this celebration of the monthly get-together hosted by the sibling duo Sara and Sean Watkins at LA’s Largo nightspot. As co-founders of the hugely successful (and innovative) bluegrass band Nickel Creek, since 2002 the Watkinses have attracted a stellar roster of friends and fellow travellers to revive yesteryear classics and garb new favourites in Nashville clothing.

So it goes with this second studio gathering (the first was in 2015), which opens with The Way I Feel Inside, a 1965 song by Brit moptops the Zombies, recast with the help of New York indie outfit Lucius. More radical is the way (Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You, a chunk of loungecore schlock by Dean Martin, becomes a honky-tonk hoedown voiced by Fiona Apple. The late country pioneer Ernest Tubb is hauled into an R&B version of Thanks a Lot by “Largo mascot” Jon Brion, while Willie Watson and Jackson Browne are among other notable contributors. Underpinning everything are the Watkinses themselves, especially the agile vocals of Sara, who outshines California art rockers Tune-Yards on a cover of their Hypnotized. But it’s not a competition, just a great night out with a ringside seat.

Watch a video for Thanks a Lot by Watkins Family Hour.

Contributor

Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Watkins Family Hour: Brother Sister review – a model of sibling harmony
Sean and Sara Watkins are back and in reflective mood

Neil Spencer

09, May, 2020 @3:00 PM

Article image
Gwenifer Raymond review – finger-picking good
The Welsh guitarist dazzles with awe-inspiring technique and her intense musicality

Kitty Empire

29, May, 2021 @1:00 PM

Article image
Wilco: Schmilco review – concise, acoustic and grouchy…
(dBpm)

Phil Mongredien

11, Sep, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Shovels & Rope: Little Seeds review – outstanding Americana
(New West)

Neil Spencer

16, Oct, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Conor Oberst: Salutations review – sprawling companion to Ruminations
(Nonesuch)

Phil Mongredien

19, Mar, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Lewis & Leigh: Ghost review – striking sorrow and sweetness
(Celticana)

Neil Spencer

21, Aug, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway review – timely and arresting
(Nonesuch)

Neil Spencer

19, Feb, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Frazey Ford review – an emotional, imperfect, lyrical balm
The cult Canadian country singer cooks up an exquisite livestreamed set with honeyed funk, buttery vocals and plenty of soul

Kitty Empire

03, Oct, 2020 @1:00 PM

Article image
Julia Jacklin: Crushing review – ghostly, rollicking second album
(Transgressive)

Emily Mackay

24, Feb, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
William Tyler: Goes West review – expansive, meditative Americana
(Merge)

Kitty Empire

27, Jan, 2019 @8:00 AM