As there are many grains of sand on the beach, it could not equal the variety of music that comes my way in Studio G at the Mohn Broadcast Center. This week one of my favs to produce was for the upcoming “Much Ado About Nothing” for The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the production will star Helen Hunt, Tom Irwin, Stephen Root, Dakin Matthews, and David Ogden Stiers in a world-class company of 17 American actors and musicians. Director Ben Donenberg has set the production in a grape-stomping California vineyard, ripe with Lyle Lovett’s music. One of Lovett’s most famous songs, “She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife,” will be performed live in the show by Sara and Sean Watkins. For ticket information, http://www.centertheatregroup.org
Remembering back in 1989, Sara Watkins, barely out of her childhood, started playing in Nickel Creek in Carlsbad, California, along with her guitarist brother Sean and mandolinist, friend Chris Thile. The young trio built a reputation in bluegrass, folk, and country circles, then catapulted to mainstream prominence in 2000 after releasing an album produced by Alison Krauss. When not on the road or in the studio with Nickel Creek, Watkins guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by Bela Fleck, the Chieftains, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Ray La Montagne, among others. Although Nickel Creek is currently on an indefinite hiatus, Sara and Sean tour with their own separate bands. For more information about their music, http://www.nickelcreek.com/. The "Smoothie Song" was always one of my personal favorites. It landed as the musical bed for this spot.
(Audio clip is an underwriting spot for Shakespeare featuring a musical excerpt from "The Smoothie Song" performed Nickel Creek. SCPR voice talent Susanne Whatley.)