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Sleep With One Eye Open

Chris ThileAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $14.12 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2011 $10.49  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Rabbit In The Log 2:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Cry, Cry Darling 3:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Loneliness And Desperation 2:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tennessee Blues 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 20/20 Vision 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. You're Running Wild 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Ookpik Waltz 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. My Little Girl In Tennessee 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Sleep With One Eye Open 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rain And Snow 3:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Mississippi Waltz 2:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Bury Me Beneath The Willow 3:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms 3:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Billy In The Lowground 3:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. It Takes One To Know One 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. If I Should Wander Back Tonight 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Mandolin virtuoso and composer Chris Thile, a multiple–Grammy Award winner and a MacArthur Fellow, has long been known as an audacious improviser and a tireless collaborator whose work has incorporated bluegrass, folk, rock, jazz, and classical elements. Besides his brilliant bandmates in Punch Brothers, his fellow travelers have also included pianist Brad Mehldau, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, ... Read more in Amazon's Chris Thile Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Sleep With One Eye Open + Bach: Sonatas & Partitas 1 + The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Price for all three: $40.26

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B004S3AU3W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Sleep with One Eye Open is an impassioned collaboration/conversation between mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile and guitarist Michael Daves, in which the subject is bluegrass, specifically how this upstart duo can acknowledge history and tradition while exuberantly defying convention. Though it was recorded in four feverish days of sessions at Jack White's Third Man studio in Nashville, the album has deep roots in a serendipitous side of New York City that reveals itself at certain times of the night, when strangers become kindred spirits as clubs empty out, and only the hardiest souls stick around to keep the music playing. It's a story that begins, like so many, with a guy walking into a bar.

On Sleep with One Eye Open, Thile and Daves acknowledge history and tradition while they exuberantly defy convention; they balance the tender with the devil-may-care, emphasizing, as Thile puts it, "the slightly delinquent side of bluegrass." Recording live to two-inch analog tape and singing into one vintage microphone, the duo cut 16 tracks at Third Man, claiming the honor of being the first artists White has allowed to record there on their own. (He also let them borrow his house engineer, Vance Powell.)

Songs like "Loneliness and Desperation" and the title track emphasize rollicking, rapid-fire arrangements that often serve, in tried-and-true bluegrass fashion, to mask the most sorrowful of feelings. Daves and Thile's voices blend as seamlessly and, on tracks like "Bury Me Beneath the Willow," as plaintively-as their instruments. As Thile explains, "Mandolin and guitar and two male voices - it's such a good sound. What was important for us was to get that brother duet thing, but with this Lower East Side punk energy."

Though the sessions themselves have an appealing air of spontaneity, Sleep with One Eye Open was a project literally years in the making. As Thile explains, "All the work for this record had already been done at the jam sessions and at the shows we put on at the Rockwood Music Hall; we just had to take a snapshot of it. I think we found a way to maintain our wide-eyed wonder about this stuff and deliver it with the sincerity of people who need to play this music to feel good." Fans will no longer have to scour Facebook or Myspace hoping for news of an impromptu, semi-secret gig from this pair: Thile and Daves are finally taking their show on the road this spring, starting in May with a three-night stand at Rockwood.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, gritty bluegrass May 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Chris Thile is a restless musician, and with guitarist Michael Daves, he takes another dramatic and unexpected turn. He has recorded three duet albums in the past-- two with Mike Marshall, and one with Edgar Meyer. All three of those albums fell very clearly in the progressive bluegrass/new-acoustic tradition set by groups like Strength In Numbers (of which Meyer was a member), and all three were strongly influenced by classical music. However, his duet album with Edgar Meyer, like his Punch Brothers project, had a very modern feel, incorporating dissonance in a way that pre-20th Century classical music rarely did. Knowing that, one might expect another occasionally-dissonant, classical-influenced newgrass album. Instead, Thile goes in the exact opposite direction.

Michael Daves is a much more anachronistic player than Thile. Another reviewer appropriately compared Daves' voice to Del McCoury, but his guitar style is closer to my personal favorite, Larry Keel. So, his picking style is far more aggressive than conventional flatpickers. In fact, his aggressive attack has a feel closer to Dock Boggs' or Roscoe Holcomb's early banjo recordings than to Tony Rice, or even Doc Watson. In fact, the Del McCoury style of singing is also a throwback to Boggs' and Holcomb's early sound, so far more than Thile, Daves looks to the distant past for his musical inspiration, and this album is closer to Daves' style than to Thile's previous recordings. However, this album is far from anachronistic. When British kids started trying to play blues in the 1960's, the music was filtered through post-war British sensibilities, and the resulting music didn't really sound like American blues.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is More May 15, 2011
By sprint
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you're like me and you respect & appreciate the traditional Bill Monroe quintet format -- but you wish more people would sacrifice some of the traditional approaches in favor of exploring alternative avenues, then you'll probably like this album. I've leaned a lot toward listening to duets and trios for quite some time and for the reason that everyone loves: there's no big rhythm section to hide behind-- it tests each player's ability to do something constructive/interesting/creative from one moment to the next and it's there for everyone to see. To my ears, the quintet gets kind of old b/c it's just too crowded. As you would expect, Chris really thrives in this setting (as he does in any other setting)- great hooks, fills, leads and vocals on all tracks. Michael's vocals kind of remind me of Del McCoury's --he's not quite as high & lonesome as Del-but he channels some of the same energy thru a slightly lower register and it all works! Similarly, his approach to guitar is his own- some influences of the bluegrass greats we're all accustomed to listening to are there-- but it's all channeled thru this unique filter that's all his own. Hey Chris-- for your next album, how about trying just you and the Gibson/Dudenbostel?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-essential, but lots of fun May 10, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I am a huge fan of Chris Thile. Antifogmatic was my favorite album of 2010, and I'm still amazed by it, despite the fact that it's been around for almost a year. With that in mind, I was curious to see how this Thile/Daves collaboration would turn out.

I had figured it would be a traditional bluegrass band, and that they would probably hire session musicians to play the bass, banjo, and possibly fiddle. When I heard the free mp3 they sent out a few weeks ago, I learned that this is actually a real duet, with Thile on mandolin, Daves on guitar, and both singing harmony.

The material is traditional songs and old bluegrass tunes. One would think there is only so much someone can do with a guitar, a mandolin, and some old songs, and he would be right. But what they have done is nothing short of great. The harmonies are perfectly matched, and the arrangements are at once interesting and technically stunning. Despite the use of just two instruments, I did not get the sense that there was something missing--that there was some void that needed filling.

You don't listen to this album because you're looking for groundbreaking work, or because you need to be moved somehow. This is one you listen to because you want to hear excellent guitar and mandolin performances, and good old-fashioned harmonizing. As I've said elsewhere, I don't feel like my music collection is missing something without it, but I very much enjoy listening to it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bluegrass Heaven June 16, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The last time I was this excited about a bluegrass album was J.D. Crowe & The New South's debut for Rounder in 1975. But what makes SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN so amazing that it's just two musicians. The firepower provided by mandolinist Chris Thile and guitarist Michael Daves is amazing.

I'm reminded of the 1980 recording SKAGGS & RICE, another mandolin-guitar duet album. In fact, these recordings share two tracks: the Bill Monroe-penned instrumental "Tennessee Blues" and the traditional "Bury Me Beneath the Willow."

While both of these albums feature two artists whose voices and instruments intertwine seamlessly with each other, I give the nod to SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN for the sheer octane level on such songs as "Rabbit in the Log," "Sophronie" and the title track.

While some might argue that Thile and Daves bring nothing new to these bluegrass chestnuts, that's only true if you don't count the youthful exuberance they bring to the table. This album is on my short list of best albums of 2011. VERY HIGHLY RECOMENDED
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Album of the year!
Published 1 month ago by Corey Cothrum
5.0 out of 5 stars Thile and Daves
Very good collaboration. Would love to buy more of this duo. Chris Thile is a whiz on the Mandolin. Michael Daves is spot on the guitar.
Published 2 months ago by Ben Goff
5.0 out of 5 stars This duo knows a little about Bluegrass.
Thile has paired up with quite a few musicians during his career. This outing with Daves is one of the best in recent memory. Read more
Published 12 months ago by David M. Cudlip
5.0 out of 5 stars Very talented duo
These two talented gentleman have made a fun bluegrass album. Very nice to listen to. They are both superb musicians!
Published 12 months ago by Tracy Loreth Kross
5.0 out of 5 stars Thile and Daves should do more together
Wonderful album with two of the best musicians out there. Really like Daves old school bluegrass sound. Reminds me of Del McCoury.
Published 18 months ago by Justin Cecil
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Know These Guys - Pretty Good
Really was not familiar with either of these individuals but bought the CD because I was looking for something new and liked the samples I heard on Amazon. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Scott Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, I wish I could give it 10 stars!!!
Holy cow, if you want to hear some amazing musicians and just have a wonderful time listening get this!! It's only $5. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mommy
4.0 out of 5 stars Chris Thile and Micheal Davis great combo
I enjoy Chris Thile in just about everything, although best when he was part of Nickel Creek. This is a toe tapper though
Published 20 months ago by kyw
5.0 out of 5 stars virtuoso bluegrass
Not enough good things to say about this album. Superb musicianship, virtuoso performances, but also warmth and genuineness in the depth with which the songs are performed. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Richard J. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener!
Chris Thile's collaboration with Michael Davies was my first Thile album purchase. I have become an instant fan! Thile has brought bluegrass music into the 21st century. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by WB
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