There’s an old saying you may have heard: “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could!” Such is the case with Daniel and Jenna Watters, who together are The Watters, an exciting new soul group based out of Austin. Though the two go all the way back to high school when they first sang together in Sedona, Arizona, they are now about to release their debut album, Great Unknown, on July 1st. Before making the pilgrimage to the “Live Music Capital of the World”, Daniel and Jenna Waters spent time in Denver, Colorado and Nashville, Tennessee, often touring as The Oak Creek Band. But it was in Austin where they were pushed to take their sound into a new territory rooted in soul music yet offering strong elements of Americana and indie rock. As any smart musicians do to take advantage of being around so many other talented artists, Daniel and Jenna enlisted the help of some of Austin’s finest locals to contribute.
The Watters recorded Great Unknown at Cacophony Recorders in Austin, Texas in January 2016. It features an array of Austin’s best musicians including Trevor Nealon of Band of Heathens, Joe Woullard and Zumbi Richards of Golden Dawn Arkestra and Erik Hokkanan. The nine musicians (including a three piece horn section) are featured throughout the entire album. The original session was recorded live to tape to capture the live sound that distinguishes The Watters, before horns and vocals were overdubbed a month later.
Offering his own take on the process, Daniel Watters says, “The recording process for Great Unknown was very organic. We did the original sessions live to tape with the 5-piece rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, drums vocals). We did two follow up sessions a month later, one for the horns which were tracked live together and one for lead vocals. The studio we tracked at was a great environment because it was a huge, open room with giant glass windows that looked out over the Colorado River. We spent a lot of time on the patio listening to music while we basked in the beauty of the river, which gave the sessions a smooth flow.”
Clearly, the duo was onto something special as The Watters are currently the Austin Music Foundation‘s artist of the month. Today you can hear an exclusive sneak peek of Great Unknown right here on Glide Magazine. The 10 songs on the album are thick and soulful, at times reminiscent of groups like the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Fleetwood Mac, and even a similar spunk to contemporaries like Lake Street Dive. Ultimately, the tunes on Great Unknown are as fun to dance along to as they are to jam in the background while sipping wine with friends on a summer night. This is feel-good music, and we all need a little more of that these days.
Listen to The Watters’ debut album Great Unknown:
The Watters release Great Unknown this Friday, July 1st via All Day Dreamer Music. For more info visit wearethewatters.com.