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Nickel Creek


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(1989 – 2007, 2014 – present)

Nickel Creek is an American progressive acoustic music trio consisting of Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (fiddle) and Sean Watkins (guitar). The band was founded in 1989 and released six albums between 1993 and 2006, winning a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Nickel Creek disbanded in 2007. Nickel Creek reunited in 2014 with the announcement of a forthcoming album, A Dotted Line, to be released on April 1st, 2014.

The two families, the Watkinses and the Thiles, met after Sean Watkins and Chris Thile had mandolin lessons with the same music instructor, John Moore. Sara Watkins studied with Moore’s bandmate, Dennis Caplinger. The band name came from a song by Byron Berline, who was Sara Watkins’ fiddle instructor.

Nickel Creek’s first performance was at That Pizza Place in Carlsbad, California in 1989 with Scott Thile, Chris’s father, playing string bass. Sean Watkins was only twelve years old at the time. At the start Chris Thile played guitar and Sean Watkins played mandolin but later they decided to switch instruments. The band played many bluegrass festivals throughout the 1990s, and the band members were home-schooled to accommodate their tour schedule. Nickel Creek’s first two albums were Little Cowpoke (1993) and Here to There (1997).

The group received two Grammy nominations: Best Bluegrass Album and Best Country Instrumental for the song “Ode to a Butterfly”.


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  • blakeandcamp

    Saw them live on Thursday w/ Josh Ritter and it was incredible. Truly talented musicians.

    17 Aug 2014 Reply
  • bernarducs

    good to see you back again

    3 Aug 2014 Reply
  • lxlmandudelxl

    Criminally underrated. [9]

    19 Jul 2014 Reply
  • theblackjay

    New album is fantastic. Record of the year so far, I say.

    17 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Predormitum

    I've only heard 'Why Should The Fire Die' and i enjoyed it. Where should i go from here?

    26 Mar 2014 Reply
  • jaydodge

    Welcome back, Nickel Creek. We missed you.

    9 Feb 2014 Reply
  • blakeandcamp

    New album coming soon!!!! Can't wait!

    4 Feb 2014 Reply
  • jaydodge

    We're going to get a new album! I'm so excited!

    15 Nov 2013 Reply
  • blakeandcamp

    Criminally underrated. [7]

    1 Oct 2013 Reply
  • jr3houston

    In total amazement at the beauty and artistry in their music. I'm a former major market radio Program Director and don't give musical acts props very easily. There is, however, a difference between musical acts and artistry. Thank you, Nickel Creek, if you happen across this post some day.

    9 Mar 2013 Reply
  • jaydodge

    can't get enough, and I don't think I'll ever be sick of their stuff. excellent all around.

    13 Jan 2013 Reply
  • TheWrathofThor

    Wait, so this isnt a Nickelback tribute band of members from the cast of Dawson's Creek?

    5 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Echos_Myron

    The second best band with "Nickel" in their name.

    5 Jan 2013 Reply
  • kimberlyelaine

    I could echo so much of what has already been said. No group of musicians has surprised and delighted me as much as these three. This Side is one of my most favorite albums of all times, which breaks somewhat from my usual classic/progressive rock. Always delighted to hear Chris Thile on his own, too. Criminally underrated. [7] Indeed.

    30 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Shalako1st

    Nickel Creek is the type that you are glad they came into your life. Once, twice, many times, never enough.

    3 May 2012 Reply
  • CrazyMtBillies

    FREE DOWNLOAD of brand new song!

    21 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lxlmandudelxl


    7 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Gagelly

    I'll still be there When you come back down ♥

    28 Mar 2012 Reply
  • MaritimeAviator

    Love Nickel Creek. Love the Punch Brothers. LOVE Chris Thile!

    6 Mar 2012 Reply
  • jennstar18

    Criminally underrated. [6]

    26 Jan 2012 Reply
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