Childhood and family are the central themes to Sara Watkins’ forthcoming solo album Under The Pepper Tree, out March 26 via New West Records. Today (Feb. 17), Watkins debuts her cover of “Blue Shadows on the Trail” with Paste.
Under The Pepper Tree will feature two original songs by Watkins, but mainly consists of the singer covering her favorite songs from her childhood, from The Beatles to classic Disney movies. Her latest solo album follows 2016’s Young In All The Wrong Ways. Since then, Watkins has become a mother to a three-year-old daughter, who will sing with Watkins on the album’s cover of “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music.
“Blue Shadows on the Trail” comes from the 1986 film Three Amigos, and features Watkins’ bandmates from Nickel Creek, Chris Thile and Sara’s brother Sean Watkins. Since Under the Pepper Tree was made with families in mind, Watkins chose to bring on her Nickel Creek cohorts for this song in honor of the memories the group shares from watching the comedy classic growing up:
As a kid, I watched the movie The Three Amigos a LOT. Specifically, I watched it a lot with my Nickel Creek bandmates at the Thiles’ house. We’d run around quoting jokes, sing along and even tried the ‘My Little Buttercup’ dance once. As an adult, I’ve sung this countless times to my own daughter. When I decided to make a record full of songs from my childhood, I knew that I wanted ‘Blue Shadows on the Trail’ to be included, and I also knew the only way to do it was with Nickel Creek. Now that we in the band have our own families, it makes this moment even more sweet for this lifetime Nickel Creeker.
Watch the music video for “Blue Shadows on the Trail” below, and keep scrolling to revisit Watkins’ 2012 performance of “When It Pleases You” at the Newport Folk Festival. You can preorder Under The Pepper Tree here.