February 13, 2014
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In the nine years Nickel Creek have been on hiatus, so Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins could focus on other projects, their sub-genre of progressive bluegrass has become a cultural force, cumulating in an Album of the Year Grammy for its current kingpins Mumford & Sons. And while the placeholders have deserved their relevance, no other act has come close to capturing the magic of their forbearers.
With “Destination” Nickel Creek come roaring back to life with the simplicity that marked their debut beautifully mixed with the experimental nature that drove This Side and Why Should The Fire Die? Thile’s trademark jagged mandolin riffs are as fiery as ever and Watkins gives a vocal that proves her solo ventures have helped her grow immensely as a singer.
“Destination” may be a tad conventional for them lyrically, more “When You Come Back Down” less “When In Rome,” but they make up for it with sheer willingness to step up to the plate with all the energy and gusto they can muster. As the Amuse-bouche this is phenomenal, but I’m holding out for all the textures and flavors that are sure to accompany the main course, whenever they’re ready to unleash it for consumption.
February 7, 2013
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It’s that time of year again, to celebrate music’s biggest night. The 55th Grammy Awards are set to air this Sunday on CBS. In a rather surprising move, it’s the females who’ll be representing our genre at the show. Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Lambert are all slated to perform, with Lambert teaming up with her ‘Locked and Reloaded’ tour partner Dierks Bentley for a special collaboration. The country nominees are below, and it turns out they’re much stronger than was expected. The Recording Academy seems to have found a happy medium between commercial and artistic popularity. We’ll have to see if any of the artistic nominees (Jamey Johnson, The Time Jumpers, and others) will prevail against their commercial contemporaries. Predictions are below:
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