By Greg Olwell

When Sara Watkins was recently touring in support of her latest solo album, Young In All the Wrong Ways (New West), the singer and fiddler from Nickel Creek showed up at our studio with a ukulele, an acoustic guitar, and a 19th-century fiddle to play us a few songs before her gig in San Francisco. (Being the gifted musician that she is, Watkins also filmed upcoming sessions on acoustic guitar and fiddle for our sister publications, Acoustic Guitar and Strings.)


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Watkins played two songs on her ukulele for our cameras, an original, “The Love That Got Away,” and a cover of “Different Drum,” a song made famous by Linda Ronstadt and written by Mike Nesmith.

She’s playing a ukulele made for her by an old friend, Andy Powers, who in addition to being the master guitar designer at Taylor Guitars, builds instruments under his own name. After her performance, Watkins told us that Powers made this ukulele using excellent wood he had on-hand that was too small for a guitar, but too good to not use on an instrument. Watkins says that it’s sized between a tenor and a baritone.

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