Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan have individually built sterling reputations in the roots music world. This Americana super group – think of an Americana
version of Trio – are set to release a 7 inch May 8 via a collaboration by Sugar Hill Records and Yep Roc Records.
The record is produced Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton) and will is a cover of John Hiatt’s “Crossing Muddy Waters,” featuring Watkins on fiddle, Jarosz on banjo and O’Donovan on guitar. The flip side offers an cappella version of Andy Stroud’s “Be My Husband.”
“One thing I’m really excited about in terms of this particular group of voices is that each individual has a lot more range than people might think,” O’Donovan said “it’s going to be fun experimenting with different dynamic and harmonic possibilities.”
Watkins, Jarosz and O’Donovan crossed paths many times throughout their careers, however, it was after an impromptu joint performance at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival that led the trio to the idea of a collaboration.
“I respect Sarah and Aoife’s instrumental and vocal musicianship so much,” Watkins said. “Writing, arranging, every time we play together we are learning how to be a supportive, explosive, good band. That’s very satisfying.”
The “I’m With Her Tour,” premiered during February’s Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow. Their performances are a culmination of the trio together as one band; sets include a mix of each other’s songs, cover songs and traditional songs. Watkins, Jarosz and O’Donovan visit Europe in April and May, with dates in Sweden, Spain and the UK. Later in May they kick off their North American dates with two nights at Wolf Trap as part of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and continue on to some of the US and Canada’s premiere music festivals.
“I’m really excited about this trio because we each do our own thing and we each do it differently, so I’m looking forward to discovering all of the unique possibilities that come with combining our individual voices,” Jarosz said.