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About Watkins Family Hour

Watkins Family Hour is a collaborative performance and recording project led by Los Angeles-based siblings Sean and Sara Watkins, both of whom came to prominence in the 1990s as part of the progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek. Beginning in 2002, they were offered a monthly residency at L.A.'s famous venue Largo, which they called the Watkins Family Hour. The gig took on the form of a variety show where the Watkins' could stretch out musically, working out new material, collaborating with other players, and generally letting loose creatively while in between tours. Over the years, the Family Hour became a spontaneous meeting place where, on any given night, artists like Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Dawes, Nikka Costa, and even actor/comedian John C. Reilly might sit in for a set. In 2015, Sean and Sara decided to turn their show into a recording project, enlisting several of their longtime collaborators to record an album of cover songs under the Watkins Family Hour banner. Members of their de facto house band include pianist Benmont Tench, pedal steel player Greg Leisz, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, drummer Don Heffington, and guest vocalist Fiona Apple, all of whom appear on the Family Hour's debut. In support of the album's 2015 release, the Watkins took their show on the road using the same variety show type format comprising a rehearsed set along with unplanned jams and various regional guests. ~ Timothy Monger


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