Elena See

Peace. It's a powerful word and a powerful idea. When you find it — if you're lucky enough to find it — you, understandably, never want to let it go.

In her quietly hopeful love song, "All The Beds I've Made," Nashville-based songwriter Caroline Spence sings about feeling a little bewildered, a little wary and very grateful to have, quite unexpectedly, discovered total peace in a romantic relationship.

Approaching life with an eyes-wide-open, take-no-prisoners attitude, outlaw-country rocker Nikki Lane is a musician who's so spunky and so tough that there's nothing in the world that scares her. She's in charge of her own destiny and she does what she wants to do, when she wants to do it. That's the persona she presents, anyway, in "Highway Queen," the title track from her new recording.

Here's a simple truism: Relationships aren't easy. Each one has its own complications and challenges and, as Texas native Robert Ellis sings in his song "Elephant," each relationship inspires its own questions and speculations. What if we could do things differently? Would we? Should we?

On one hand, there's nothing surprising about Watkins Family Hour. When seven incredibly talented musicians get together to make music in a world-class studio with a top-notch producer, it's no shock that the thing sounds good. What is surprising is how well the album's diverse cast works together — there's an innate sense of understanding among the players, of the variety that only comes after years spent working together.