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Nickel Creek Biography

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Nickel Creek is a Grammy Award-winning American acoustic music trio with roots in bluegrass, which is now sometimes described as "progressive bluegrass" or "progressive acoustic." The band is composed of three permanent members: Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (violin), and her brother Sean Watkins (guitar). The band's fourth guest member has been less permanent, although he is always a dynamic part of their performance. This position is currently filled by Mark Schatz (string bass). Over the band's three official albums, Nickel Creek's musical style seems to have shifted from contemporary bluegrass to the incorporation of indie rock elements, covering songs by Radiohead, Pavement and Bob Dylan. However, the core influence of bluegrass remains evident in all three albums.

The band formed in California in 1989 with Scott Thile, Chris' father, playing string bass. The two families, the Watkins and the Thiles, met at That Pizza Place, in Carlsbad, California, where they listened to the band Bluegrass Etc. The oldest of the children, Sean, was only twelve years old at the time.

In Nickel Creek's early days they recorded two albums: Here to There (out of print) & Little Cowpoke. Later, Alison Krauss helped to develop their style. She produced their self titled 2000 release on Sugar Hill. This is now recognized as their first major release. Scott Thile retired from the group when their touring schedule became too difficult to balance with his day job. After a few years of touring with various bassists, Mark Schatz has taken over the role.

The group has released five albums (three major releases) and won a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Contemporary Folk Album for their release, This Side. Nickel Creek and This Side have both been certified gold for sales above 500,000. They released their third album, Why Should The Fire Die? on August 9, 2005 which was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The track Scotch and Chocolate from Why Should the Fire Die? was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.

In the Summer of 2006 via Billboard Magazine and their official website, Nickel Creek announced that at the end of the year they would no longer be recording together as a group and their tour scheduled through 2007 would be their last for an indefinite period of time. According to Thile, "It's always been so natural, but lately it hasn't been quite as natural and we're running the risk of actually having to break up. We would rather leave it for a while, while it's still intact and healthy." [1]

Sean Watkins stated that all three members are ready to expand their musical horizons by experiencing real life again: "When you're on the road all the time and meet all these people who love your music, you can't always relate to them because stuff never happens to you. We're supposed to be writing songs that relate to other people... I need to be out there and having a different life than that. I am ready to write about real things again." [2]
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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