Nickel Creek Debuts New Album; Comes to Mesa Arts Center, 8/28
The Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling trio Nickel Creek - Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle/vocals) and Sean Watkins (guitar/vocals) - officially reunited for the first time since its 2007 "indefinite hiatus" and recorded a new album, A Dotted Line, that was released by Nonesuch on April 1, 2014. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 at #7, Nickel Creek's highest chart position to date, with 27,000 units sold. Nickel Creek began its first US tour in seven years on April 16 in Birmingham, AL and will stop at Mesa Arts Center for one show on Thursday, August 28. A soon to be announced special guest will open the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets go on sale this Monday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at livenation.com, mesaartscenter.com and at the Mesa Arts Center Box Office, at 480-644-6500.
"The most striking feature about 'A Dotted Line' is the sheer strength of the singing, and the frequency with which it takes flight in three-part harmony...The signature Nickel Creek blend...comes across loud and clear. - New York Times
As Nickel Creek's 25th anniversary approached, the band members decided they ought to mark it in some way, so they got together to write music in Chris Thile's apartment last year. They ended up with six new co-written songs, which they eventually took to a Los Angeles studio, along with one tune by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers: Sam Phillips' "Where Is Love Now" and Mother Mother's "Hayloft." There they worked with Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Smash Mouth), who had also produced Nickel Creek's last album, Why Should the Fire Die? (2007). A Dotted Line has received tremendous critical acclaim; the Los Angeles Times says "...these eight originals and two covers suggest that the unique chemistry between Thile and the Watkinses is still deepening. They've never blended their voices more thrillingly..." and the Boston Globe says, "...like old friends who fall right back into conversation, Nickel Creek picks up the thread in glorious fashion on 'A Dotted Line.' The time away has done the California-spawned group good, as the conversation is familiar-intricate instrumental phrasing, pristine harmonies-but also full of fresh energy."
"We were excited every day to be there," Sara Watkins says. "Having grown up singing together, there is something natural about our voices and it's really fun to harmonize. Our voices have come to match each other's really well. Sean and I are siblings, and Chris is about as close to a sibling as you could get." Sean Watkins continues: "It feels more natural and easy than it ever did, by far. Getting to spend time alone with our own musical personalities has helped us mature." "There's a joyful aspect to Nickel Creek no matter what we're doing. Things just steer themselves into that sort of place," concurs Thile. "We will go poke around in the dark corners but always with a heavy dose of optimism."
"More adventurous than Nickel Creek's earlier work, and more expressive of each player's strengths...It's tight, it's masterful; it's totally grown-up. But it's also a blast." -NPR Music
Formed in 1989 when Thile and Sara Watkins were eight years old and Sean Watkins (Sara's older brother) was 12, Nickel Creek earned a loyal following playing the festival circuit for nearly a decade. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 2000 to commercial and critical acclaim: it sold nearly one million copies, and Time called the trio "music innovators for the new millennium." Nickel Creek released two more records: 2002's This Side, which won a Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy, and 2005's Why Should the Fire Die?. Beginning as bluegrass child prodigies, Nickel Creek grew into an acoustic band known for its breadth of musical influences-from Bach to Radiohead-and its surprisingly large sound on stage. The New York Times described their music as "postmodern" and "polystylistic," and USA Today said, "This acoustic trio moves farther and farther from anything Bill Monroe would have recognized as bluegrass..." The band members always explored their own solo work as well as collaborations, which they were able to pursue more fully during their hiatus, and will continue to do.