WATKINS FAMILY HOUR’S NPR MUSIC TINY DESK CONCERT PREMIERES
SET TO PERFORM ON CONAN OCTOBER 1
SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM OUT NOW TO WIDESPREAD ACCLAIM
ACCLAIMED COLLECTIVE FEAT. SARA WATKINS, SEAN WATKINS, FIONA APPLE, BENMONT TENCH, DON HEFFINGTON, GREG LEISZ AND SEBASTIAN STEINBERG
“When bands we like cover songs we love, our best hope to relive those special moments is usually through sideways videos recorded on cell phones and uploaded to YouTube. But with this crystalline collection, Watkins Family Hour offers a more compelling insight.” —Pitchfork
“…a marquee musician magnet…” —The New York Times
“…they’ve nurtured a communal spirit that seems rarer and rarer.” —Los Angeles Times
…the Watkins Family Hour’s delightful debut album should appeal to a broad audience of pure country and roots music fans, thanks to its enchanting versions of classics by the Grateful Dead, Roger Miller, Robert Earl Keen and others.” —San Diego Union Tribune
Watkins Family Hour’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert premiered today and can now be viewed here: http://n.pr/1FRUHp3. The “special moment at the Tiny Desk” (Bob Boilen) includes renditions of “Steal Your Heart Away” and “Hop High”—which are featured on the band’s acclaimed debut self-titled album—as well as a special bonus performance of “In The Pines.”
In celebration of the album release, the world-renowned collective—which features siblings Sara and Sean Watkins along with Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg—will make their late-night television debut on “Conan” on October 1. Earlier this summer, the band was featured on CBS This Morning Saturday.
Released to widespread critical praise, NPR Music asserts, “On one hand, there’s nothing surprising about Watkins Family Hour. When seven incredibly talented musicians get together to make music in a world-class studio with a top-notch producer, it’s no shock that the thing sounds good. What is surprising is how well the album’s diverse cast works together—there’s an innate sense of understanding among the players, of the variety that only comes after years spent working together…They listen to each other, they pay attention to each other, and it’s glorious.”
Additionally, The New York Times calls it an “…oak-solid debut album,” while Paste Magazine proclaims, “That such a simple record, short on frills and long on naked aesthetic, offers such impact in a world of machined pop and beat-driven urban music speaks volumes for the power of stripping things back, then letting the talent shine.”
Watkins Family Hour, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, captures the freewheeling spirit of the collective’s live shows. An all-covers affair, the album includes Sara leading vocals on the Grateful Dead’s “Brokedown Palace” and Apple singing “Where I Ought To Be,” originally performed by Skeeter Davis.
Of the album and tour, Sara comments, “Taking the Watkins Family Hour on tour and releasing this record feels like the right next step. 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. We are coming to towns where we have friends and we can have those moments, even if it’s not our home club. It’s the people on stage who make that happen; it’s just a matter of getting the right group of people together. 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.”
Watkins Family Hour began in 2002 as a monthly musical residency hosted by Sara and Sean and held exclusively at Los Angeles’ Largo at the Coronet. Of the performances, Forbes praises, “This combination of seeing a marquee talent, the element of surprise and the congeniality of an evening of friends makes for a great night out, where the artists appear to be enjoying themselves, and enjoy seeing their friends perform. It feels like a 21st Century version of the Greenwich Village folk scene at clubs like the Bitter End in the 1960s. Mostly, what it feels like is—well—like Largo,” while American Songwriter asserts, “Inside the Largo, a funny thing happens: along with her brother, Sean, and friends like Fiona Apple and Jackson Browne, Watkins leads an evening of folk tunes, bluegrass jams and good old-fashioned musical revelry, a joyful room that brings wailing voices and acoustic strings to an electric city…”
For more information, please contact Asha Goodman 615.320.7753, Jake Lanier 615.320.7753 or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000 at Sacks & Co.