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The Watson Twins come to Charleston on April 28th 2011

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We wanted to catch up with The Watson Twins to talk food. They have a big show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on April 28th, 2011.  They will be opening for local product gone big time Amos Lee.  The Watson Twins are identical twin sisters Chandra and Leigh Watson.  They were raised in Louisville, KY.  Like many of the great southern singers they first got into singing at an early age by performing with their church choir . They both went on to graduate from college at the University of Evansville in Indiana.  Leigh was an art therapy major and Chandra a theater major. They quickly moved to California following graduation and began making connections with musicians. They would then go on to share their sweet, gentle, voices with the world.

  The move out of Kentucky landed The Watson Twins in Silverlake, CA.  Silverlake was the heart of the 90s alternative and indie rock scene.  Artists such as Beck, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addicition, Tom Waits, Henry Rollins and Silversun Pickups (“Silver” in their name is from Silverlake BLVD). I am big fans of the Silversun Pickups. I saw them at the Capital Hill Block Party in Seattle. We will have to leave that story for another time.  Their biggest connection to come out from Silverlake might be Jenny Lewis who is also the lead singer of Rilo Kiley.  Jenny Lewis performed here in Charleston this past year with Band of Horses. Jenny Lewis did a side project with The Watson Twins.  The 2006 album called Rabbit Fur Coat was released under the bill Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins. The twins own debut album Southern Manners was also released in 2006. The twins later released Fire Songs in 2008 and Talking To You, Talking To Me in 2010.  You can catch a sneak peak of some of their new material on their website . Their new EP to be released in April 2011 is going to be a cover album called Night Covers.  It will featuring songs by such performers as The Cure, The Eurythmics, and the Black Keys. 

   With a southern upbringing followed by many years touring and living in LA, the twins have had a chance to taste very contrasting styles of food. We wondered if there were any foods they missed or craved from back home in Louisville.

Chandra: I miss biscuits and gravy most of all… our mom makes a killer Vegetarian Gravy and there is absolutely nothing like it. Second on the list would be fresh picked tomatoes, straight off the vine with a little salt and my grandma’s slow cooked green beans.

Leigh: YES! The fresh southern produce. We used to go to the farmer’s market in Frankfort, KY with my aunt. The tomatoes warm from the morning’s sun, squash and zucchini for days, plus all the homemade pickled green beans and okra…ever had a “Dilly Green Bean“? (CFB likes “Phickles“)

Charleston Food Bloggers ( CFB ) :    Touring can sometimes take its toll on a person’s diet.  These girls obviously try and eat healthy but how can you do that on the road.  We asked them what their favorite snack foods are.

Chandra: Wasabi peas and dry roasted almonds are a nice little treat. Great food when you are on the road (be)cause it gives you a little protein boost.

Leigh: Cheese, olives and crackers. I know it sounds boring, but there are so many amazing cheeses out there in the world. St. Andre has been a favorite in the last few months, its soft like brie, but creamier. Add some warm French bread to the picture and heaven is a bite away.

CFB: What is your specialty in the kitchen?

For me it’s all about simple ingredients.  I like to play off the flavors of fresh fruit and vegetables. The perfect meal in my world is a baked sweet potato with roasted kale and some black eyed peas (not the music the food).  Add a fresh baked baguette and some Saint Andre cheese…heaven. Easy, quick and fresh!

Leigh: I love a big salad. I usually call it “Everything but the kitchen sink”. Arugula to start and then I just go for it. Veggies, beans, quinoa…whatever I have could make it in the bowl.

CFB: We are always interested in where people love to eat. What are you favorite restaurants in the world?

Chandra:  Wow! In the world… that’s tough. There is a Guatemalan restaurant in Oklahoma City called Cafe Antigua that will blow your mind… fresh mango juice anyone? Delicious!

Leigh: Lucile’s Restaurant: Fort Collins, CO– Soul food, homemade everything. ‘sNICE: Park Slope Brooklyn, NY- Healthy Vegetarian Fair, light and lovely. Mother India: Glasgow, Scotland- Curry to die for. Little Dom’s: Los Angeles, CA- Walking distance from home and never disappointed, the burrata and beet salad is perfection. (Nick Offerman of NBC’s Parks and Recreation recommended this place as well…..they might be neighbors!…..naahhh)

CFB: What other female artists are you listening to a lot right now?

Chandra: Our friend Laura Veirs record “July Flame” is on constant rotation over here as well as some old favs like Shirley Brown “Woman To Woman“… our friend got us the record on vinyl for Christmas, it sounds sweet.

Leigh: The Adele record of course, the song “Someone Like You” is amazing. A friend turned me onto a soul singer from the late 60’s called Little Ann and her record Deep Shadows is new discovery. The XX, Little Dragon, Sade, Erykah Badu, Franciose Hardy… I could go on, constantly inspired by female singers new and old.

CFB: Since they are identical twins in appearance we asked if we would be able to tell the two apart by what they put on their plates.

Chandra: This isn’t really a food thing but a flavor difference… Leigh likes cinnamon gum and toothpaste and I’m mint all the way!

Leigh: Is it possible that we have identical taste buds?? We both gravitate towards similar foods… the healthy, fresh, local foods of the region and the delicious Mexican flavors of Southern Cali… it’s on both plates.

 We can’t wait to go see the show April 28th at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.  Good luck with the new album.  Our friend and DJ at 105.5 “The Critic” plays you guys quite often and I am sure will be excited to get your new album.  I really liked your July Flame and Deep Shadows recommendations.  Now here are a few Charleston recommendations for you based on your answers to our questions.

 Charleston food we recommend for The Watson Twins:

5 Loaves Café


(maybe we can bribe our way back stage if we bring dinner??)

Charleston musicians we recommend for The Watson Twins:

Cary Ann Hearst,

Danielle Howle,

or maybe James Justin & Co.