Sara Watkins – S/T (Nonesuch/Warner Music Canada)

Click to Enlarge With her group Nickle Creek on hiatus, what better opportunity for Sara Watkins to step out from their shadow and make a solo record? Combining songs from the catalogues of Jimmie Rodgers, John Hartford, Jon Brion and Tom Waits along side original material, Watkins’s record maintains a distinct bluegrass/country feel even when she tackles the non-country songs.

Watkins performs with a certain understated elegance on slower songs like Waits’ Pony, original track All This Time and Same Mistakes, but ramps up the tempo on tracks like Jimmie Rodgers’s Any Old Time and instrumental track Jefferson.

If Watkins plays her cards right and gets the promotion she deserves, she could be the heiress to Allison Krauss’s bluegrass throne.

Time will tell.

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