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Nickel Creek

Distinguished by their youth and eclectic taste, Nickel Creek became a word-of-mouth sensation on the progressive bluegrass scene and soon found their appeal spreading beyond the genre's core audience. Guitarist Sean Watkins, fiddler Sara Watkins (his younger sister), and mandolin/banjo/bouzouki player Chris Thile first started performing together in 1989, when all three were preteens and taking music lessons in their native San Diego. They met while watching the local band Bluegrass Etc., which put on weekly performances in a pizza parlor. A bluegrass promoter liked the idea of such a young band, and thus Nickel Creek were formed, with Thile's father Scott joining them on bass.

Nickel Creek were regulars on the festival circuit through most of the '90s, and during that time, Thile recorded two solo albums, 1994's Leading Off... and 1997's Stealing Second. In 1998, with help from Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek landed a record deal with the roots music label Sugar Hill. Krauss produced their self-titled debut album, which was released in 2000; with the kids apparently all right, Scott subsequently retired from the band. Though it was decidedly a bluegrass record, Nickel Creek boasted elements of classical, jazz, and rock & roll both classic and alternative; naturally, the influence of progressive bluegrass figures like Krauss, Edgar Meyer, and Béla Fleck was also apparent. Perhaps aided by the success of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which brought traditional roots music to a whole new collegiate audience, Nickel Creek became a slow-building hit; by early 2002, it had gone gold, climbed into the country Top 20, and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Meanwhile, Sean released his solo debut, Let It Fall, in 2001, and Thile followed suit with Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

Nickel Creek released their sophomore set, This Side, in 2002; it debuted in the Top 20 of the pop charts and went all the way to number two on the country listings. Even more eclectic than its predecessor, the Krauss-produced album turned indie rock fans' heads with a cover of Pavement's "Spit on a Stranger." This Side won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in early 2003, after which Sean issued his second solo album, 26 Miles. In 2005, the group worked with producers Tony Berg and Eric Valentine (the latter had worked with Smash Mouth and Queens of the Stone Age) to produce Why Should the Fire Die?, a dark and introspective collection of new material that found the trio steering even further away from their bluegrass beginnings.

In mid-2006, Nickel Creek announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus following a scheduled tour the next year so the bandmembers could concentrate on solo work. Thile eventually formed Punch Brothers, releasing a debut album, Punch, on Nonesuch in 2009. Sara Watkins also released an album on Nonesuch in 2009, the self-titled Sara Watkins, which was produced by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame. Sean Watkins, who had formed Fiction Family with Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot), also released an album in 2009, the duo's self-titled Fiction Family from the ATO label. Meanwhile, siblings Sara and Sean continued to host a monthly revue called The Watkins Family Hour at Hollywood's Largo club, playing free-form and impromptu sets with a wide array of musicians who might be in town for the evening, including at different times Gabe Witcher, Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz, Jon Brion, Michael Witcher, Jackson Browne, Glen Phillips, Mark O'Connor, Ethan Johns, Matt Chamberlain, Tim O'Brien, and Tom Brosseau, among others.

Over the next few years, the members of the trio continued to record, with Thile particularly prolific. His work in this period included two further Punch Brothers albums, Antifogmatic and Who's Feeling Young Now?; The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a collaboration with classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma; and even a classical album of his own, of Bach Sonatas & Partitas transcribed for mandolin. Sara Watkins released a sophomore effort, Sun Midnight Sun, in 2012, and Sean Watkins released a second album with Fiction Family, Fiction Family Reunion, in 2013.

Early in 2014, Nickel Creek announced they were launching a reunion to celebrate their 25th anniversary. A new album called A Dotted Line appeared on Nonesuch on April 1, 2014, and the group supported the record with an extensive tour. ~ Steve Huey & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Great sounding like said before sounds a bit like Alison Krauss. I meant that as a compliment too. Reasons why sounds great. I love instrumental s and they are excellent sounding.
msuhrowczik
Favorite band ever!!!
Caught the show last weekend at Majestic Theatre in Dallas. AMAZING as usual! Their true giftedness shone through their unplugged rendition of Where is love now.
Awesome to see these 3 together again at Moody Theater in Austin this weekend. Absolutely beautiful and confident. They just keep getting better!
angelatollen
Great concert in Cary NC last night. Weather was beautiful. Love this band. Heard Chris doing a solo a couple of years ago at DPAC. Amazing artist.
fred78874
Fabulous concert in Cary NC last night! gorgeous night, gorgeous venue and gorgeous music! Who could ask for more?!
This group makes me feel goose bumps excellent. :o)))
Gorgeous harmonies... stopped me in my tracks. They do have the feel of Alison Krauss and Union Station, which is a huge compliment.
Saw them in concert (7-25-2014) at the Shelburne Museum, Vermont. They are awesome in concert you need to see them. Sure hope they contuine to make great music together.
Howdy!
Talented instrumentat i o n and arranging.
This song brings back so many memories. Nickel Creek is as country as I get.
Does anyone know where the closest concert to south west Kentucky or north west Tennessee is?
Great concert last night in Oakland!
awesome that they r back together for a bit! Chris Thile was awesome in inside llewyn davis!
Yes God Given Talent he is a real artist id that a Dobro he's playing? Great sounds.
ohbrowneyes5 0
Love Nickel Creek!
I discovered this when my dad played it! It's pretty awesome!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
This is pure God given raw talent!
mojo_fitz
LOVE NC musical charm and brings me serenity every time I listen
NC is touring this spring and summer. Forecastle Festival 2014 in Louisville looks to be one of the city's best festivals ever.
crofty98
@dstriper50, THANK YOU for t your notice! Hope to come down from NorCal
They'll be playing together again at Newport Folk Festival on July 26th, 2014.
topeye
Saw them at the first Mountain Stage New Song Fest near Charles Town, West by God Virginia about 2002. It was an outdoor venue and when the evening rain started about halfway through they didn't just quit and go home. They invited one and all to cram inside the old mansion on the grounds and they performed from the stairway so all could see and hear unplugged. You could tell they loved what they were doing and they are the best! Please reunite!
Too bad Nickel Creek washed away, who knows there may be a reunion somewhere upstream.
Voices smooth and sweet as the Sweet Afton...Hear k e n s back to a simpler time...and when I lived in a cabin in the woods and napped by the creek. Still possible today!
Always a great sound from this group! Unfortunatel y , we've only seen them 2 times.
Yeah for Nickel Creek great job here. Alison Krauss is working for almost every group. Her name is everywhere.
i discovered you guys through my dad and i love your music!!
judynourse
Wonderful harmony.... makes my heart sing. I would love to see this band in person... Please get together and come to Massachusett s !!! We need you here !
estherlvn618
1.kiss your left hand 2.say your crushes name 3.say a school day 4.close your hand 5. Say your name 6.open your hand and look at it 7.post this on at least 15 other songs and your crush will ask u out on the day u said
your music is a dream of great comfort . thanks
if they was doing as good as they was why in the world would you guys break up.. makes little sense
Loved seeing Nickel Creek with Fiona Apple a few years back on the farewell tour, I had seen them a few times before as well. The BEST contemporary Bluegrass band out there. PLEASE COME BACK! I will buy every record you produce. I STILL tell everyone I know to listen to Nickel Creek on a regular basis. Songs like The Lighthouse and The Fox will forever be a part of my life and my family's life. I sing The Lighthouse to my little ones as they are drifting off to sleep. Miss you guys!
I get wanting/need i n g to do solo projects...b u t I wouldn't mind if they got back together for a year or so...I do miss how they sound together. I saw them live twice (which wasn't as easy in AZ as some other places)...tr u l y one of my favorite groups.
obsessedgurl
This freaked me out this isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten songs in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day if you life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out, if you break this chain you will see a little dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes, someone will say I love you or I'm sorry. This isn't fake.
gichasumnow
I miss this band too. Sure hope they get together and do bluegrass again soon!
I like their solo stuff and collaboratio n s . But damn, I miss this band.
dfhromatka2
You guys realize that this is comment section for the band and not the song? So many people post things like god i love this song without listing the song they love, or even realizing that they need to...
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now you've started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cause it actually works
29 days ag
sepblues
Found their 2005 album Why Should the Fire at a thrift shop for a buck. It was the best dollar investment of my life, and I'm packing 60 of them...Wish they would get back together- they made amazing music.
asimon4379
I can't stop jamming to Smoothie Song. God, I love instrumental s .
Fabulous cover of Tomorrow is A Long Time, a great Dylan song
sonofagunn8
Missing them so much.
noels84
Can they get back together now please?
How about some Spring Creek, John Cowan, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Pat Flynn, Dailey & Vincent, Newfound Road, The Steeldrivers , , Alan Munde and Country Gazette, Tim Obrien & Darrell Scott?
They're still getting airplay, July 2012. Heard Nickle Creek today on program: D28 +5 on WOUB, Athens, OH. Great group, and all still very good, especially Chris Thle. Keep on pluckin!
karla_reiche l
Heard them in St. Cloud MN a few years back. They finished the concert and came back out and played about 30 minutes more unplugged. Amazing!
cmyers3402
love Pandora 'cause it leads me to groups like this. Wanna hear more.
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