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.
"Music of a Bygone Era"
Back before the advent of recorded sound, when a home music system was the piano in the parlor, the odds were good that said piano would be accompanied by one or more bound volumes of short pieces intended for amateur performance. They might contain anything from bagatelles by Beethoven or humoresques by Dvorak to occasional pieces by lesser composers to arrangements of popular songs.
There is an interesting moment in a recent interview with Dave Holden, guitarist of the Irish band I Draw Slow, when he notes that in America their music is described as Irish, and in Ireland, it's American. The problem might simply be in knowing too much; the band may be from Ireland, but this is American music, drawing from the folk traditions of Appalachia.
It's remarkable what 10 years in the industry have done for Texas native St. Vincent (Annie Clark). Now, with five albums on the shelves, she's reaching the masses not just by gracing the top 40 charts, but by infusing her music with qualities not-often heard in mainstream music.
Psychedelic rock is like the aurora borealis of popular music. It dazzles then disappears, flares then flickers out. The genre seems to lie latent just long enough so that each wave can astonish anew, offering new generations a conduit to another place in time.