After seven years apart, Nickel Creek is back with “A Dotted Line.” As in the early part of their career together, Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins are doing things that no one else is doing while serving an audience that is interested in picking up the Nickel Creek story where it left off.
Emcee/poet Dessa abandons hip-hop production for an acoustic retelling of her haunted prose. Matte with the kind of truth easily glossed over by a shiny veneer, her compositions drip heartbreak induced wisdom.
The lights dimmed to darkness in the Sheldon Concert Hall to signal the Flecktones making their way to the stage. A moment of quiet settled in.
Call it bluegrass, newgrass, jam grass or even mash grass, just don't call Bawn in the Mash late for the pickin', swinging and experimenting party.
Before tonight, the words "acoustic café" brought to mind a quiet place where you could get a coffee, grab a bagel and surf the web to the sound of easy-listening guitar. After Carrie Rodriguez, Erin McKeown, Mary Gauthier and Tania Elisabeth finished their encore, I had seen how wrong expectations can be.
In late 2006, legendary (I don't use the word lightly) guitarist Tom Hall had his 1931 National guitar (also known as an extension of his body and soul) stolen outside a Soulard bar. The Iron Barley restaurant held a benefit and collected enough money to replace the instrument, and ever since Hall and a constellation of fellow veteran musicians have been paying it forward with annual benefits for good, music-related causes.