Sara Watkins never told us who else was in the car. The ex-Nickel Creek fiddler and singer had just finished a tour with Garrison Keillor, and was on her way to a gig on the west side of Cleveland. We were told she was by herself. When I greeted her in the lobby, she asked if we had enough mics for her guitar player. "Your guitar player?" I asked. "Yes," she said. "My brother, Sean."
With no advance notice, we had two-thirds of Nickel Creek in our studio.
This was exciting, though it wasn't hard to figure out that the focus was on Sara, anxious to talk about her debut CD. She seemed a bit reserved, but maybe she was a little nervous. She loosened up when she asked me to help her remember the name of a tune on the first Stuart Duncan album and I almost came up with it. We figured it out together and once she began playing, she relaxed and was surprisingly open in the interview — as you'll soon hear.