The title of Chris Thile's third solo album (the first was released in 1994, when he was all of 12 years old) is telling. Dispensing with lyrics, this all-instrumental effort is held together neither by mood nor by story line but rather by curiosity: curiosity as to where the mandolin, the Nickel Creek wunderkind's instrument of choice, can go in a group setting, how it relates to rhythm instruments in a small ensemble, and how the sum of each musical configuration can achieve something that sounds whole. Not All Who Wander Are Lost -- the title is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien -- comprises a dozen purposeful musical journeys into territory where genre distinctions melt away. Everywhere Thile and his formidable supporting cast wander (the players include Béla Fleck on banjo, Union Station's Jerry Douglas on Dobro, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and bass players Byron House and Edgar Meyer, among others), they find stimulating conversation. The exciting theme and development of "Sinai to Canaan," sparked by the engaging bonhomie between Thile's mandolin and Meyer's lumbering bass, begs repeat listening in order to absorb all its ideas. On "Club G.R.O.S.S.," inspired by the philosophical musings of comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbes, Thile stays reasonably within the bounds of a melody line after allowing tenor saxophonist Jeff Coffin to bleat, blurt, and sigh in all sorts of angular configurations. These are not empty exercises in musical virtuosity, however. "You Deserve Flowers" is a tender, almost medieval duet between Thile and Meyer fueled by Meyer's fragile, bowed counterpoint to Thile's ruminative solos. Thile's Nickel Creek bandmates Sara and Sean Watkins join him and House on the Celtic-flavored "Big Sam Thompson," a poignant, tribute to a distant relative of Thile's: the baseball Hall of Famer whose home run record was broken by Babe Ruth in 1921. It's a beautiful, touching moment, all heart and wistful longing, reaching out across the ages to honor familial and musical ties that bind. Indeed, not all who wander are lost.
Performance CreditsChris Thile Primary Artist
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Edgar Meyer Bass
Jeff Coffin Tenor Saxophone
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Béla Fleck Banjo
Byron House Bass,Guitar
Bryan Sutton Guitar
Sara Watkins Fiddle
Sean Watkins Guitar
Technical CreditsGary Paczosa Engineer,Audio Production
Chris Thile Producer,Audio Production
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not All Who Wander Are Lost based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
I have been a Chris Thile fan since his very first album and I am quite pleased with his latest CD. I love his newest CD because I think he has really grown and developed his own unique music style. I especially love the song ''Bridal Veil Falls''. It reminds me of walking out on a beautiful day in the country and listening to the wind. I have never been a huge fan of country but I do like the more instrumental aspect of it and this is a marvelous example of how beautiful country music can be even without vocals. I hope Chris keeps coming out with great music and that he never gives up on his amazing talent. If you love good music than please don't pass by on this gem of a CD.
THILE'S BEST WORK EVER! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! If you like NC's instrumentals, you'll love this!
Just picked up ablumn and listened to it on the car ride home. Felt transported by music. New to folk and bluegrass music but amazed by talent and depth of Thile. Not bad on the eyes either. A great album all around!
Although I am a fan of this genre of music, I generally prefer the songs to have lyrics. This album changed my mind, lyrics are not neccessary. The music speaks for itself.