Sean Watkins has had a prolific couple of years. In addition to Nickel Creek’s long-awaited comeback album A Dotted Line in 2014, Watkins also released a solo record, All I Do Is Lie in the summer of 2014 and the collaborative covers album The Watkins Family Hour in 2015. Plus he toured with all three acts in between. Now he’s back with another solo album, and What to Fear continues his streak of strong releases.
Bob Schneider is one talented guy. There's nothing he's done that isn't fantastic. But Underneath The Onion Trees is even better than much of his other work. It's a mellow, acoustic side of Bob that we've seen glimpses of on other albums. Mitch Watkins is the guitarist here, and he's amazing. His playing is stunningly beautiful, and Bob has provided some lovely songs to go with Mitch's playing.
Brothers Paul and Huw Watkins British Works for Cello and Piano, a series remain[ing] by far the best recorded guides to this powerful and enjoyable repertoire according to BBC Music, reaches its fourth volume. Following Kenneth Leightons three-movement Partita, op. 35 comes Elisabeth Lutyens Constants, op. 110, whose four melodic and harmonic intervallic constants are used exclusively throughout the work. Alun Hoddinotts Sonata, op. 96/1 is notable for its clear, open textures, often of two-part counterpoint. Richard Rodney Bennetts four-movement Sonata ends the program.