Nickel Creek songwriter/fiddler Sarah Watkins has signed with Nonesuch, and will release her self-titled solo debut on April 7. The set was produced by Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones.
Also featured on the album are Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg and Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Tile and Sean Watkins.
Watkins wrote or co-wrote eight of the 14 tracks here, including covers of Tom Waits (“Pony”), Jon Brion (“Same Mistakes”), Jimmie Rodgers (“Any Old Time”) and Norman Blake. She’d previously worked with Jones in a short-lived group called Mutual Admiration Society, but years went by until they met again at a folk festival in Cambridge, England.
“He came up after Nickel Creek’s performance and said that if I didn’t let him produce my record he would never talk to me again,” she says. “I was thrilled that he was that excited about it.”
Watkins has previously lent her talents to albums from Bela Fleck, Richard Thompson and the Chieftains, among others.