How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

4.5 2
by Chris Thile
     
 
Nickel Creek's mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile knows bluegrass from the inside out, and he never forgets where its heart is when he ventures beyond its borders for inspiration. How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, another exciting solo journey on which Thile is joined by a solid quartet of guitar, bass, banjo, and fiddle on a patchwork quilt of songs from various

Overview

Nickel Creek's mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile knows bluegrass from the inside out, and he never forgets where its heart is when he ventures beyond its borders for inspiration. How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, another exciting solo journey on which Thile is joined by a solid quartet of guitar, bass, banjo, and fiddle on a patchwork quilt of songs from various sources (including his own raw-nerve originals about love and loss) that he and his mates translate into bluegrass terms. These sources range from the legendary Spanish Celtic band Milladoira (whose lively instrumental, "O Santo de Polvora," is a moment of pure joy, an irresistible Irish reel full of exuberant, life-affirming dialogue between the fiddle and banjo) to Jack White's up-tempo, slightly skewed explication of a relationship gone sour in the driving, bluesy "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" to a bustling, fiddle-fired workout on Jimmie Rodgers's classic "Brakeman's Blues." The Strokes' "Heart in a Cage" gets countrified and even gospelized in these capable hands, it's one of the album's most vivid moments. But Thile's own songs stand out for their raw intimacy, their breathtaking flights of instrumental musings, and, especially on the desultory, spare "I'm Yours if You Want Me," for the artist's willingness to put the load right on himself. Love may not have been good to him of late, but Thile knows he'll find a soothing balm in the music he was raised on.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Looking at Chris Thile's recent projects, both the 2004 solo album Deceiver and his recent effort with Nickel Creek, 2005's Why Should the Fire Die?, a listener might experience both trepidation and excitement at the release of his new solo album, How to Grow a Woman from the Ground. This guy's got talent to burn, and in a field -- bluegrass and acoustic music -- that's known for its conservatism, he gleans fresh perspectives from breaking the rules. But Deceiver revealed a talent unraveling in so many different directions that the album finally lacked an identifiable center. Musically, How to Grow a Woman from the Ground is much more organic and cohesive than the eclectic sprawl of Deceiver, relying on acoustic instruments and the talents of guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Greg Garrison, banjoist Noam Pikelny, and fiddler Gabe Witcher to hold the sound together. The songs and instrumental selections are also quite strong, though Thile remains eclectic, drawing equally from traditional bluegrass, progressive acoustic, and singer/songwriter traditions. There is a great deal of distance between his cover of Jimmie Rodgers' "Brakeman's Blues" and the surreal lyrics of the title cut, but, thanks to the track sequencing, the album flows well. While both the instrumental pieces and Thile's confessionals are enjoyable, How to Grow a Woman from the Ground's highlights arise from fantastic covers of Jack White's "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and the traditional "If the Sea Was Whiskey." The surreal lyrics of the title track, written by Tom Brosseau, are accompanied by an equally evocative melody, though the subject matter will probably strike progressive-minded listeners as troubling. How to Grow a Woman from the Ground may not qualify as the most enlightened title of the year, but it does reveal the growth of an adventurous talent.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2006
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891401720
catalogNumber:
4017
Rank:
39552

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chris Thile   Primary Artist,Mandolin,Vocals
Gabe Witcher   Fiddle,Vocals
Greg Garrison   Bass,Vocals
Noam Pikelny   Banjo,Vocals
Chris Eldridge   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Ronnie McCoury   Contributor
Paul Shelasky   Composer
Gillian Welch   Composer
Chris Thile   Arranger,Composer,Producer
David Rawlings   Composer
Gabe Witcher   Arranger
Julian Casablancas   Composer
Greg Garrison   Arranger
Matthew Gephart   Engineer
Noam Pikelny   Arranger
Loren Witcher   Illustrations
Chris Eldridge   Arranger

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How to Grow a Woman from the Ground 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is fantastic! I just bought it a couple of hours ago and listened to it once. It's now in my CD player again for a second go around. A few words of caution to the young ear and the bluegrass lover: First the young ear: I was quite distraught in Thile's choice to leave the f-bomb in "Heart in a Cage". As one of my greatest musical influences and one of my heroes, I am disappointed. To the bluegrass lover: this is NOT bluegrass. This is Chris Thile. That is the only way I can describe it. It's not like Nickel Creek and it's quite different from his other solo projects. However, I, as an avid Thile fan thouroughly enjoy this CD. I highly recommend getting it. It will probably latch on to you by the second song and whisk you away to Thile-land.