Tuesday, August 27, 2002

There's hardly anything that makes me as happy -- in music-related news, that is -- as hearing that Nickel Creek has a new album coming out. Nickel Creek is composed of Chris Thile, 21, on the mandolin, Sara Watkins, 20, on violin, and Sean Watkins, 25, on guitar. They all sing and write a lot of their own music, and they are all unbelievably good instrumentalists. Especially Chris Thile, who has been called the "Tiger Woods of the mandolin." That's no exaggeration -- I studied classical guitar for many years, and I'm blown away by Thile's technical abilities.

Though they might look like any other "teen" act, don't be fooled. Nickel Creek is Rembrandt, and all the other teen acts are kindergarten finger-painters.

Their style? A mixture of acoustic pop and bluegrass -- newgrass, some call it. Their first album, produced (as is the new one) by Alison Krauss, was one of the best albums I've ever bought. Lush vocal harmonies, rollicking instrumentals, tunes with memorable hooks.

And they were all homeschooled too. :)


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