Join us Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 7:30pm for a live show with award-winning guitarist, singer/songwriter, and co-founder of Nickel Creek, Sean Watkins. Tickets are $15 at the store or online.
About Sean Watkins
Sean Watkins co-founded Nickel Creek when he was just 12 years old, kickstarting a career that’s taken him from the stage of the Grammy Awards to the top of the bluegrass charts. Along the way, he’s become an award-winning guitarist, a singer/songwriter and a member of several different bands, not to mention one of the early pioneers of a genre now known across the world as Americana. Now, after 25 years of being either a band member or sideman, Watkins is throwing his full weight behind a new solo album, All I Do Is Lie.
“It’s a culmination of the past 10 years,” he says of the record. “It was borne out of a drive to step out of supportive roles in bands. I do like backing up other artists, but in the last couple of years, I’ve started owning my own personality as a musician. I’ve had the urge to put my name on something and step out of the supporting role.”
Folk fans are already familiar with Nickel Creek’s story. Formed decades ago as a bluegrass trio, the group expanded its sound — and its popularity — with albums like the Grammy-winning This Side, which became a crossover hit on the bluegrass, country and pop charts in 2002. Three years later, when Nickel Creek decided to take an open-ended break from the studio, Watkins found himself with more time to focus on other projects. He made the most of it, forming an indie-folk duo called Fiction Family with Switchfoot’s frontman, Jon Foreman, and launching a monthly variety show called the Watkins Family Hour with his sister. Meanwhile, he also played with musicians from all different genres, even joining the touring bands of legendary songwriters like Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett.
Working with those icons felt like going to music school, and Watkins learned all the lessons he could. By 2012, he’d grown into a considerably different player. His songwriting, too, had grown. It was time to do something new — something that redefined Watkins by showcasing his skills not only as a player, but also as a songwriter and singer. He began recording All I Do Is Lie that summer, rolling the influences and experiences of his past 10 years into a new batch of self-penned songs. Released in 2014 by Roaring Girl Records, it’s a roots album that straddles the line between multiple genres, proof that Watkins’ own influences are just as wide-ranging as his resume.
“It’s always good to learn new ways of playing and new ways of looking at music,” he says. “I started with bluegrass, but at this point, I’m a musician who’s also taken on a lot of other influences from the people I’ve been around over the years. I’ve finally got a sound that I feel like I can own. I can put my finger on it. I want to keep myself honest with who I really am, and despite the title, that’s what All I Do Is Lie is all about.”
All I Do Is Lie also marks the first time that Watkins has promoted one of his solo albums with a full tour. He’s no stranger to the road, but this specific tour promises to be different. Watkins will be occupying the spotlight himself, acting as a frontman instead of a bandmate or sideman. Years ago, whenever he released one of his own albums, he’d immediately hit the road again with Nickel Creek… a move that turned his solo career into a project. It’s not a side project any longer.
“This feels like starting over, in a way,” he explains. “It’s the beginning of the next phase.”