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Sara Watkins to Play Smothers Theatre, 10/11

Sara Watkins to Play Smothers Theatre, 10/11

Singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins, known for her work in the Grammy-winning band Nickel Creek and as a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion, brings her signature sound to Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 11.

Tickets, priced starting at $15 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522 or online at http://arts.pepperdine.edu/. More information: http://sarawatkins.com/

Most recently seen on the Pepperdine stage opening for the Blind Boys of Alabama, Watkins spent most of her younger years, nearly two decades, as singer and fiddle player for the Grammy Award-winning, bluegrass-folk hybrid Nickel Creek. Watkins began performing in Nickel Creek when she was a mere eight-years-old, alongside her guitarist brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile. After the band went on hiatus in 2007, Watkins launched her solo career with a self-titled debut album in 2009, produced by John Paul Jones, the former Led Zepplin bassist and formidable song arranger.

After two formative years on the road fronting her own band-making stops at such events as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and Glasgow's Celtic Connection along the way-Watkins returned to Los Angeles to record her second album. Produced by guitarist, songwriter, and Simon Dawes co-founder Blake Mills, Sun Midnight Sun offers both sweetness and a certain swagger; it has an appealingly rough-hewn quality.

For Sun Midnight Sun, Watkins built the tracks around a core trio consisting of herself, multi-instrumentalist Mills, and her brother Sean, with whom she has been co-hosting the Watkins Family Hour for the last nine years at LA's eclectic club Largo whenever the pair is in town. It was at Largo, in fact, that keyboardist and frequent Family Hour guest Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers introduced Watkins to Mills, who had previously worked as sideman/muse to such artists as Jenny Lewis, Julian Casablancas, Jeff Bridges, Delta Spirit, and Nora Jones.

Recently, Watkins has once again been touring with Nickel Creek, as 2014 marks 25 years since the band's formation. The trio agreed to commemorate this milestone with at least a few concerts, but when they convened for a few days of writing, their creative synergy returned with a vengeance, resulting in a brand new album, A Dotted Line.

This performance by Sara Watkins is sponsored by the Pepperdine Crest Associates.


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