Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 20

Have you been asked to write solo material that will attract fans of Nickel Creek?

Watkins with the '52 Gibson
ES-140 known as "Pat."

Well, I'm not trying to avoid anyone. I hope
Nickel Creek fans will like this record because
I feel strongly about it. I want everyone to like
this record, but that's not why I made it. I made
it because I had things to say and ended up
with a batch of songs from problem-solving
life issues that come up. Out of this little batch
came this album.
Were you adamant about authoring all
the material?

No, I just had more material. "One Last
Time" was an older song I wrote with my
friend, Jon Foreman, and played live for years
but never had a place on a record. It fit well
on this one. The rest of the songs came from
the past year and a half.
I don't write a song when I know what I have
to say, because then I only get a line of it. I'll
start a song thinking I have something to say,
then I won't even get a full chorus out of it.
If you figure it out already, then it's going to
be a quick thing to say. Then I'm faced with
developing it. Usually, songs come about when
I'm trying to solve a puzzle or wrestling with
something in my life.
Some people think Young In All The Wrong
Ways is a sad album. To me, it's a very hopeful album. When I start writing, it's because
I don't know how to approach a subject or
solve an issue. It starts in a journaling form
where I'm rambling for pages and pages. Then,
somewhere near the end, I'll find a corner
that makes sense. I'll get to page three and
that might be where the song starts. It's pretty
therapeutic for me.

SARA WATKINS
S

ara Watkins is a multi-instrumentalist,
singer, and composer popularly known
as "That amazing fiddle player in Nickel
Creek." But on her third solo album, Young
In All The Wrong Ways, Watkins gives her
progressive-bluegrass violin chops a rest to
focus on guitar. It's a personal collection of
songs with a diversity of textures, moods, and
great playing. We recently spoke with her to
get the skinny on its makeup, as well as the
guitars heard on it, and the possibility of a
Nickel Creek reunion.

Is your solo career a conscious effort to
depart from the Nickel Creek sound?

What comes out of that band is unique to
the three of us putting our heads together and
singing together; that would be impossible to
replicate, and I don't think anybody wants to

re-create it in a different format. Even if we
could, that really doesn't sound fun.
My goal in every project is to figure out
what I want to say and how I want to say it.
I've been happy to see that each album has
been different. I feel that's a really good sign.
I've been able to continually move forward,
develop, and grow. I'm encouraged to realize
that after each album is done, it sounds different than the one before.
And I'm clarifying because I sometimes
worry that people might think I'm trying to
avoid sounding like a certain thing, or trying
to defy expectations. That's not ever part of
the goal. If you don't do something that's
authentic to you, you risk having to go out
and tour behind something your heart isn't
into - for a year or a year and a half! That
sounds like a nightmare.

VINTAGE GUITAR

20

December 2016

I've been playing two lately. The main one
is a Bourgeois parlor-style made by David
Bourgeois and based on an 1800s shape. It's
really powerful. I'm not a flatpicker, but this
guitar is quite bold. It fits me because I'm 5'2."
My other guitar is a '52 Gibson ES-140. I
don't name cars, bikes, or instruments, but this
guitar came with the name "Pat" in rhinestones
screwed into the pickguard. It's impossible to
call it anything but "Pat" (laughs). It's really
cool - it has a P-90 and sounds very dark, which
is nice for solo stuff and works really well with
my singing. Shrill guitars can be a little much,
solo, but this one benefits from some finesse. It's
pretty special. It's also a good hotel companion.
Is there a chance of another Nickel Creek
reunion?

There's always a chance, but not while I'm
touring on this album. We all have several
projects going, so there's a bit of a logistics
issue. We keep in touch and would love to
do something in the future. - Oscar Jordan

Sarah Watkins: Maarten de Boer.

What's your favorite guitar?

Authenticity


http://youtu.be/fggp12Lf9oA?list=PL1293D4CB8DBFF1B9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 2
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 9
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