Nickel Creek: Sean Watkins (vocals, guitar); Chris Thile (vocals, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki); Sara Watkins (vocals, violin, strings).
NICKEL CREEK was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and "Ode To A Butterfly" was nominated for Best Country Instrumental Performance.
Personnel: Sean Watkins (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Chris Thile (vocals, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin); Sara Watkins (vocals, violin, fiddle, strings); Scott Thile (acoustic bass, upright bass, electric bass).
Recording information: Seventeen Grand; Sixteen Grand; The Brown Cloud.
Photographer: Jim McGuire .
Arranger: Nickel Creek.
NICKEL CREEK is the appealing debut album by this quartet of young bluegrass/folk musicians. Mandolinist Chris Thile kicks things off with a display of virtuosity on "Ode to a Butterfly," negotiating the twists and turns of the melody with seemingly effortless abandon. All four musicians seem incredibly sure-footed and comfortable in each other's company. Bassist Scott Thile shines in an often under-appreciated role--his round sound and perfect intonation provide the harmonic underpinning and subtle rhythmic cushion that lends buoyancy to the ensemble sound.
The production values are exceptionally high on this project, reflecting the intense musicality of producer Alison Krauss, an instrumental and singing star in her own right. Violinist Sara Watkins contributes a tender lead vocal on the ethereal "Out of the Woods," and the harmony vocals are nothing short of sublime. "Sweet Afton," a setting of the famous poem by Robert Burns, shows off the group's Celtic leanings. Chris Thile's high tenor vocal is heart stopping.