Wednesday, January 27, 2021
– Sara Watkins of the Grammy-winning groups Nickel Creek, I'm With Her and The Watkins Family Hour, will release "Under the Pepper Tree" on March 26 via New West Records.
The 15-song set was produced by Tyler Chester (Sara Bareilles, Margaret Glaspy) and is the follow up to her 2016 solo album "Young In All The Wrong Ways."
Nickel Creek and I'm With Her each help out. Nickel Creek band mates Chris Thile and her brother Sean play on "Blue Shadows on the Trail" (from the 1986 comedy "The Three Amigos"), I'm With Her band mates Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan help on "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" (originally performed by Roy Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers), Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes on Harry Nilsson's "Blanket for a Sail," David Garza on Roy Orbison's "Beautiful Dreamer" and Sara's now three-year old daughter on her rendition of "The Sound of Music's" "Edelweiss."
Created with families in mind, the personal project encompasses songs Watkins embraced as a child herself.
In addition to two original songs, the album includes renditions of "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 film "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory," The Beatles' "Good Night" and "Moon River" (originally sung by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's").
A "Pure Imagination" debuted today
Watkins said she initially felt conflicted about making a children's record until she realized that perhaps this album could impact a young listener in the same manner as the music from her own childhood affected her.
"I want this album to be a place of calm, imagination, and relief," she said. "Some days are perfect, and things are a dream and make you feel like a superhero. And some days are just... such a challenge. I feel like this record has a place in both of those days, and I really hope that these recordings find a place in kids' hearts, and become as special as they are to me."
Watkins sequenced the album's 15 songs with the vinyl listening experience in mind. After forming the track listing of Side A and Side B, she then crafted transitions between the songs, making each half of the album seamlessly glide by.
"Although this album can certainly be enjoyed by listening all the way through, very early on in the planning I began thinking of it as something to be taken one side at a time. I imagine someone dropping the needle on side A one night, and side B the next."
The release also features a vinyl package so children can interact with the record. The idea stemmed from the vintage vinyl releases she's collected for her daughter. "You find some that are really beautiful, and there are some Winnie the Pooh albums that we listen to on a daily basis, not just because of what they sound like, but because of what they look like," she says. "My daughter will look at the book while I put on the record. The pages don't tell everything that's in the song, but that doesn't matter because sometimes she's more looking and sometimes she's more listening. It's all there, it's all connected. I want kids to experience my record that way, with all of those senses."
The track list is:
1. Pure Imagination
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