Alex Woodard with Sara Watkins, “Reno”

alex-woodardsara-watkinsAlex Woodard and Sara Watkins continue the recent trend of rock/pop leaning artists dueting with country artists. For those who don’t know, Watkins was a member of the stellar Southern California-bred progressive bluegrass/acoustic trio, Nickel Creek. And Woodard, a Southern California surfer boy, is an independent roots rocker who released his self-titled album in August 2008.

This cut, which is found on Woodard’s album, showcases beautiful vocals by both artists – Woodard’s smooth voice is imbued with depth and confidence, and Watkins lovely voice is tinged with the right amount of wistful emotion. Unfortunately, neither the song – a ballad contemplating the end of a relationship – nor the production, do the artists justice. It is a surprise because Woodard is an excellent songwriter and Watkins an accomplished fiddler/violinist. However, in this instance, the lyrics are rather forgettable, and instead of coloring the song with genuine emotion, the violin-backed production comes off as slightly schmaltzy and pedestrian.

As both are talented, with different material, I look forward to hearing more from them – separately or together – in the future.

Listen: “Reno

Grade: B-

Alex Woodard with Sara Watkins, “Reno”


  1. Wasn’t thins a single when it was given away for free last year?

    Love the song, love Sara and I can’t wait for her April 7th debut solo album! She was always my favorite Nickel Creek member anyway.

  2. soooo….I might not be any kind of music expert, specially country/rock,I just love all kinds of music, and I heard reno for the first time this last weekend on cmt or gac tv, and I was instantly hooked, I loved their voices and the song, the melody has this hauntingly sad sound. but is really beautifull!!!…..I will def. look into their music….didn’t know either artist before.

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