Artist Profiles: Nickel Creek

Nickel Creek

Nickel Creek was one of the hottest acts on the acoustic circuit in the early 2000s. They toured with Lyle Lovett, backed Dolly Parton and had two hit videos on CMT.

Their traditionally flavored pop-folk lyrics and acoustic licks performed by guitarist Sean Watkins, his violinist sister Sara and mandolinist Chris Thile reflected an eclectic mix of influences that included bluegrass, classical, jazz and rock. The trio made acoustic roots music relevant for a new generation.

The band members met through music when their parents took them to hear the Southern California band Bluegrass Etc. at their regular weekly show at the local pizza place.

Nickel Creek formed with Chris’s father bassist Scott Thile when a bluegrass promoter thought it would be cute to have a kid’s band which resulted in the group touring festivals for a decade. Scott Thile left the group and sent the young adults on their way when the debut album hit the streets.

As individual musicians they were always discovering new ways to hone their craft. “Musically this band never stays the same ” said Thile. “We love to grow. There are moments on stage where I look over and think ‘This is why I’ve been in this band since I was eight’… It’s so comfortable and yet we’re all focused on bettering ourselves on a solo level. Sean and I are writing and pushing each other to come up with better stuff.” Sean and Chris were the primary composers and writers for the group.

Nickel Creek disbanded in 2007, but returned in 2014 with a new album and 25th anniversary tour.

Discography

Little Cowpoke (Choo Choo Records, 1993)
Here to There (1997)
Nickel Creek (Sugar Hill Records, 2000)
This Side (Sugar Hill Records, 2002)
Why Should the Fire Die? (Sugar Hill Records, 2005)
A Dotted Line (Nonesuch Records, 2014)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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