Watkins Family Hour takes over the Tractor

Watkins Family Hour at Tractor Tavern (Photo: Sunny Martini)

Watkins Family Hour at Tractor Tavern (Photo: Sunny Martini)

by Stephanie Dore

Like a home away from home, the Watkins Family Hour took over Seattle’s Tractor Tavern for two sold-out nights of collaborative musicianship. We caught night one, where standout guests John Roderick (of The Long Winters) and author Caleb Mannan joined siblings Sara and Sean Watkins – along with their regular band, which includes Fiona Apple – on stage for some rollicking good tunes.

The Tractor was packed tight, with an unusual seated floor, but the stage was just as full. The siblings started out the night alone on stage, displaying their renowned instrumentals before being joined by the rest of the “family”. Their show is soulful, a bit jazz, a bit bluegrass, and feels completely like a bunch of friends and family started up a jam band. They just happen to all be awesome musicians.

Sunita “Sunny” Martini wants to make you look like a rock star. Making her way to the Pacific Northwest just a few short years ago, Sunny dove head first into Seattle’s legendary music scene and decided put her photog skills to use, capturing incredible live moments forever on film, or at least on a digital memory card. Armed with a degree in graphic design from Florida State University and plenty of experiments with a camera, she marched straight into the pit, snapped her first pictures, and hasn’t looked back (except to pull up her pants).