Sara Watkins on the L.A. Bluegrass Situation

The beginning of May marks a special and busy time for Sara Watkins. On May 3, Sara and her brother Sean orchestrated another of their Watkins Family Hour shows that was part of the L.A. Bluegrass Situation at Los Angeles’s Largo at the Coronet. This uniquely eccentric event, now in its third year, brings together adventurous acoustic musicians and music-loving performers, like Steve Martin and fest organizer Ed Helms. The fest returns to Largo at the Coronet, although there will be an outdoor benefit show for the non-profit. Tree People on May 6.

On May 8, her new album Sun Midnight comes out on Nonesuch Records. The former Nickel Creek fiddler/singer took some time to talk a little on what the L.A. Bluegrass Situation means to her.

What makes the festival special?
To me, the festival is special because it is four nights I get to spend with great musicians. Listening to them play their show, getting them to play on my songs and playing together at the after show in the Little Room.

What are you looking forward to in this year’s shows? 

 Watkins: I’m really excited to see what happens Sunday at Tree People.

Is there a favorite moment from past appearances?

Watkins: I always love to see the odd combinations of people on stage.  After the main show in the theater is over, the musicians eventually end up onstage in the Little Room.  Any wild hare that a band or a player has can happen there.  Want to try a new song? Great.  Want to do an old song in some wild way that incorporates the players who happen to be listening back by the bar? Done.  Want to play a beautiful song you just love? Or better yet, coerce your band mate to play your favorite song of theirs? Perfect.

Does it have something that makes it uniquely Los Angeles?  

Watkins: One thing that I love about it being in LA is how easy it is for musicians and comedians to drop by.  As a result the impromptu nature that some of the shows take on (and certainly the after-shows) is drawn right from the tap of Los Angeles.

Visit: for information on the festival

And you can find more on Sara Watkins go to


About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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