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A Nickel Creek reunion was perhaps inevitable. Neither Sara Watkins nor Sean Watkins ceased performing together during their seven-year hiatus and while Chris Thile saw some success with the Punch Brothers, the pull of a 25th anniversary reunion was too strong to resist. To accompany a 2014 tour, the trio recorded the new album A Dotted Line, a record that adhered to the group's traditions so much they wound up whittling away most of their progressive leanings. Nickel Creek still has an ear for interesting covers -- here, they pick Mother Mother's "Hayloft" and Sam Phillips' "Where Is Love Now" -- but the instrumentation on this brief ten-song collection focuses on guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. It's a far cry from the eclectic, electric adventures on Sara Watkins' solo records but the music feels alive and nimble and the originals -- which are primarily group collaborations, although Thile wrote the instrumental "Elsie" and Sean wrote the plaintive "21st of May" -- are uniformly solid. If there isn't much spark, there is a surplus of warmth; the trio is comfortable and relaxed, and it's hard not to succumb to such friendly, familiar vibes.
Performance CreditsNickel Creek Primary Artist
Edgar Meyer Bowed Bass
Matt Chamberlain Percussion
Mark Schatz Bass
Eric Valentine Percussion
Chris Thile Bouzouki,Mandolin,Vocals,Group Member
Sara Watkins Fiddle,Vocals,Group Member
Sean Watkins Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Technical CreditsSam Phillips Composer
Eric Valentine Producer,Engineer
Chris Thile Composer,Lyricist
Sara Watkins Composer,Lyricist
Sean Watkins Composer,Lyricist
Brantley Gutierrez Band Photo
Ryan Guldemond Composer
Cian Riordan Engineer