Top 5 Countdown: Best Sara Watkins Acoustic Moments on Youtube

By Mark Kemp

Sara Watkins isn’t particularly well-known for her acoustic-guitar playing — that’s been brother Sean’s role in most of her projects. She’s more well-known for her nuanced voice, fiddle playing, and generally great acoustic music-making. So, to celebrate the release of Watkins’ new album, Young in All the Wrong Ways, here’s AG‘s picks for the Top 5 most powerful Sara Watkins acoustic moments on Youtube. You’ll see brother Sean picking by her side on a couple of these. You’ll also see Sara herself picking a guitar or uke in a couple more.


5. “You and Me,” from Watkins’ 2012 solo album Sun Midnight Sun.

4. “Crossing Muddy Waters” was Watkins’ 2015 collaboration with equally talented friends Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan. There’s so much talent going on here, you’d be forgiven if you tear up a little.

3. “Different Drum.” In 2010, Watkins walked into the WNRN studio in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her ukulele and played a jaw-dropping version of this 1967 folk-rock hit penned by the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith and made famous by Linda Ronstadt.

2. “Move Me.” Watkins’ A Prairie Home Companion performance of a song from her new Young in All the Wrong Ways is a bit more electric than most of these picks, but it has plenty of acoustic soul, and Watkins’ voice has never sounded better.

1.  The most powerful Sara Watkins moment on video, by far, came during Nickel Creek’s 2014 reunion performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. The entire 20 minutes is pretty much pure bliss.

Mark Kemp
Mark Kemp

Former AG editor Mark Kemp is the author of Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South (Simon & Schuster, 2004; University of Georgia Press, 2006).