Madison Cunningham Joins Watkins Family Hour On Elliott Smith’s “Pitseleh”

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Saturday, July 30, 2022

Building around solid community and great songs, siblings Sara and Sean Watkins began their Watkins Family Hour shows at L.A.’s beloved Largo nightclub two decades ago. Twenty years later, the pair are still pushing the limits of their original vision, consistently inviting new members to the fold to tackle devastatingly good tunes. Today, Watkins Family Hour shared another taste of their new album, Vol. II—out August 19th—with a particularly lovely cover of Elliott Smith’s “Pitseleh” featuring Grammy-nominated folk-rocker Madison Cunningham.

Originally appearing on Smith’s 1998 album XO, Sean, Sara, and Madison transform the original’s swift waltz feel into a dreamy, pizzicato guitar-scape accented by a retro-feeling, unison string arrangement and subtle harmony. “Sara and I have been huge fans of Elliott Smith for a long time. Years ago, we were asked to take part in an Elliott Smith tribute concert in LA and this is the song I chose to do,” says Sean. “The fragility and heartbreaking imagery of the lyric have always spoken to me. I love the contrast between that sadness and Madison Cunningham’s gorgeous and sparkling guitar part.”

Fans can hear Watkins Family Hour’s all-new interpretation of “Pitseleh” at this link, check out the previously-released Vol. II singles, “Hypnotized” and “(Remember Me) I’m The One Who Loves You” featuring Fiona Apple, and pre-save or pre-order Vol. II ahead of its August 19th release date right here. Watkins Family Hour tour continues on August 13th at Lexington, Virginia’s Lime Kiln Theater. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at

Catch Watkins Family Hour On Tour:

Aug. 13 - Lexington, VA - Lime Kiln Theater

Aug 14 - York, PA - Susquehanna Folk Festival

Sept. 16 - Cincinnati, OH - Memorial Hall

Sept. 17 - Nashville, TN - Americana Fest

Sept. 18 - Indianapolis, IN - The Toby Theatre

Sept. 20 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark

Sept. 21 - Kent, OH - Kent Stage

Sept. 22 - Fort Wayne, IN - Clyde Theatre

Sept. 23 - Bay Harbor, MI - Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Sept. 24 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music

Sept. 25 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music

Oct. 23 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere

Oct. 25 - New York, NY - (Le) Poisson Rouge

Oct. 27 - Albany, NY - The Egg

Oct. 29 - Groton, MA - Meadow Hall at Groton Hill Music Center

Oct. 30 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center

Nov. 13 - Beaverton, OR - The Reser

Nov. 14 - Eugene, OR - Soreng Theater at Hult Center

Nov. 16 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo

Nov. 29 - Santa Barbara, CA - UCSB Campbell Hall

Dec. 1 - Napa, CA - JaM Cellars Ballroom

Dec. 2 - Menlo Park, CA - The Guild Theatre

Dec. 3 - Northridge, CA - The Soraya