The spirit of collaboration has been a guiding light in the careers of Chandra and Leigh Watson. After growing up singing together in church in Kentucky, the identical twin sisters moved to Los Angeles and sang with Slydell before being approached to lend their voices to Jenny Lewis’s Rabbit Fur Coat album. Following the success of that record, the Watson Twins began to write and record their own material, while also maintaining a busy schedule as sought-after backup singers for a broad range of artists, from Harry Connick, Jr. to Cee Lo Green to the Kings of Leon to Willy Nelson.
So much experience in the service of songs and a homeward move to Nashville lead the sisters to their latest album, last year’s Duo. Its atmosphere is confident and looser than some of their previous work, intimate and warm; it is also the first time the two co-wrote each of the songs.
To say that the music lacks the angst that sometimes comes with creative partnership or sibling rivalry understates things dramatically. Rather, it feels like a joyful affirmation of the of the pleasures and possibilities of closeness. Initially, Leigh says, the plan was to work together with multiple songwriters. When the sisters’ friend Daniel Tashian, best known for co-writing credits with Kacey Musgraves, pitched in on “Playing Hearts,” he told them he thought it had been basically finished when they got there. “It wasn’t just going to be the two of us, because Nashville is such a songwriting town,” she says. But Tashian’s vote of confidence had them to wondering if keeping the writing in the family could be a fruitful project.
Not coincidentally, the first song completed for the album after deciding on this approach came from playing with the idea of a set of sisters and a set of brothers in a sort of double duet. The haunting “Call to You” finds the Watsons and brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of the Cactus Blossoms weaving unison call-and-response verses together with explosive harmonic choruses. The result is at once familiar and thrilling, and with hindsight as apt and expression of the Watson Twins’ mission as can be—look what we can do, together.
When & Where
- From: Sep 08, 2019 07:15 PM
- To: Sep 08, 2019 08:00 PM
The Backyard at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
1340C S. A1A
St. Augustine, Florida, 32080