- Bryon Harris
The Watters - 'Great Unknown'
Austin, Texas husband and wife duo The Watters are the 2016 Indie Spoonful "Best Dose of Indie" Award winners. Their latest album, 'Great Unknown,' features a 9-piece band, including a full horn section. Young schoolmates turned band-mates turned soul-mates, the duo have been playing music together for eleven years and have collaborated on six albums, sharing an authentic, amazing musical connection. Influenced by artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket and The Beatles, The Watters album 'Great Unknown' is soon to be known as - great.
The CD opens with the title track 'Great Unknown' which comes straight out of the gate with a wonderful groove on trumpet, sax and trombone. Jenna's voice enters, subdued and soulful, as she sings the killer first line, "You are pulsing in my marrow." Her voice has a clarity of tone that is striking. Combined with the lower register of Daniels voice, the duo capture an old-school meets new school Americana-folk-rock-soul sound that is unique. The song's message is about letting life unfold as every moment has it's time and place. The chorus has a fantastic, feel-good vibe. "The world as you know it is changing every moment. Time can't be bought or sold. Every single soul, every creature every stone has a place in this great unknown." The Watters know how to write the kind of melodies and hooks that sink in and resonate.
Up next is "Realty" with Daniel taking the leads on vocals. The tune has a funky, melodic guitar riff that nicely ties everything together. The Watters have a great sense of rhythm that hints at 60's soul and jazz. Almost three minutes into the song there's a sweet slide guitar solo. The third track on the album, "Bad Dreams" is my favorite and Jenna shines. "Bad Dreams" opens with a laid back 6/8 groove and a folk-violin solo that has a rich, vaguely Eastern phrasing that is gorgeous. "I twist and I turn holding the wall. It's gonna fall. Building me up, breaking me down, down to the ground. Dreams were forgotten and I'm walking in my sleep." Jenna's delivery is very moving. The recording, production and mix on each cut are very well-done. Another favorite track is "Ebb and Flow." Throughout the album, The Watters present lyrics that reflect and observe with insight and sincerity, making for a poignant impact."The world has a way of giving and taking away. It's a game that we play. The rules are changing everyday..." Their lyrics are not about fear of the unknown, but rather about letting go of control and finding beauty in life's uncertainties.
Sure to be a crowd favorite that will get folks swaying and smiling is the song " Johnny Applesead" sung by Daniel and joined by Jenna on the chorus. This song is completely infectious. The melody is fun and memorable and the guitar and horn solos, as always, are tasteful and spot on musically. "We roll all over the country. Johnny Appleseed. Oh were fresh out of money. Hmmm, we got what we need, yeah." You can't help but want to roll all over the county with them. The last song on the album is "Bright Side." This mellow and beautiful song is a soul-stopping shivers-up your arms kind of song. "There will always be a bright side as we circle round the sun." In 2015, The Watters left Nashville to relocate to Austin, Texas which took an enormous leap of faith. The duo re-branded from a folk band called "The Oak Creek Band" and changed their name to 'The Watters.' The results of this transition can be heard in 'Great Unknown' which presents the tried and true musicianship of a couple who have played together since high-school. Daniel and Jenna Watters have delivered an exceptional collections of songs with guts and soul, meaning and message, and above all else great musicianship. With 'Great Unknown' The Watters prove what their fans have 'known' all along - that their great songwriting and musicianship will always rise and grow whether they are in Nashville, Denver, Austin or any other part of the country, because The Watters have a universal appeal that they can take anywhere they want to go. For more information on The Watters, visit their website.