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Nickel Creek

4.6 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 21, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

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The CD cover artwork for this release has changed, and your copy may be delivered with either the old or new cover art. Nothing else about the CD has changed.

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San Diego is not exactly known as a hotbed of contemporary bluegrass music, but then again, Nickel Creek are a far cry from most bluegrass bands you've ever heard. On their Alison Krauss-produced debut, they serve up a lilting, ethereal fusion of bluegrass, Celtic, modern folk, and even classical influences, offering exquisite harmonies that would be more at home at a Crosby, Stills & Nash tribute than at a musical salute to the late Bill Monroe. Yet it makes for delightful listening, all the same. The three principals (Sara Watkins on fiddle and vocals; her brother Sean Watkins on guitar, mandolin, and vocals; and Chris Thile on mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, and vocals) are either barely out of their teens or still in them. Individually and as a band, they've already won a slew of awards and notoriety on their respective instruments. The three prodigies (joined by Thile's dad, Scott, on bass) really strut their eclectic hot licks on a few soaring, skittering instrumentals, but even more impressive are Nickel Creek's graceful, heartfelt harmonies on the many lovely ballads. Hot licks, when you get right down to it, are a dime a dozen; this sort of pluperfect tunefulness is a much rarer thing. --Bob Allen
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: March 21, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B00004NK9T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas A. Cote on June 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My wife and I happened, by chance, to see and hear Nickel Creek's "Reasons Why" video on CMT. I was immediately struck by the Alison Krauss influence, only to find out after purchasing the CD here at Amazon, that she produced this lush musical garden. I only had to hear that one song to know that I'd enjoy their other works, but I simply was not prepared for the treasure chest that this CD actually is. Songs like The Lighthouse's Tale, When You Come Back Down and of course Reasons Why, are definite standouts, though frankly it's difficult to say that about any song on this CD, because they are all so wonderful. My personal favorite, though, is The Hand Song. My son is autistic. This song brings me to tears each and every time I hear it, because it reflects so clearly the picture of his personality. The innocence and love that are portrayed in this song are a mirror image of him and I thank Nickel Creek for this wonderful portrayal. Buy this CD, you'll not regret it.
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Format: Audio CD
Rushed out to buy this after hearing the band on Prairie Home Companion- this is a wonderful CD. Excellent musicianship, all acoustic, crystal-clear vocals and beautiful vocal harmonies. Produced by Alison Krauss, this state-of-the-art recording might just be the best bluegrass recording I've heard so far this year. The Krauss / Union Station influence is evident, but Nickel Creek avoids the temptation to copycat the producer by performing several touching originals and tossing in a few fret-burning instrumentals (with a surprising celtic feel to them) for good measure. Doesn't get much better than this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I received my copy of Nickel Creek's self-titled CD in the mail a few days ago, and I've been unable to stop listening to it ever since. The talent of these three young musicians is, in a word, stunning. Prepare to be continually astounded by rapid-fire instrument solos and rock-steady vocal harmonies, all done with an accomplished ease that belies their tender ages.
If you're a hardcore bluegrass fan, rest assured that Nickel Creek can execute "old standard" stylings along with the very best of the genre. Chris Thile's lightning fast mandolin and Sean Watkins' fluid guitar solos are reminiscent of Dan Tyminski and Ricky Scaggs respectively, but these prodigies go way beyond mere stylistic reproduction: Chris and Sean introduce beautiful and jaw-droppingly difficult arpeggios smacking more of Bela Fleck and Phish rather than Flatt & Scruggs - in fact, Nickel Creek tosses Celtic, Jazz, and Maritime influences into the mix that seems just as natural as it is refreshing. The song-writing is incredibly good (in particular: The Lighthouse Tale and Reasons Why), and the harmonies will give your goosebumps even more goosebumps.
I was lucky enough to get this CD the day before seeing Alison Krauss and Union Station at the beautiful Chicago Theatre. Imagine my surprise to read the following in the liner notes in very small print: "Produced by Alison Krauss." Somehow, it all makes perfect sense.
Get this CD now. You'll be able to tell others that you knew all about them before they were famous - these kids are that good.
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Format: Audio CD
Three weeks ago, I walked into Target to buy a new pen. I found myself in the entertainment section and saw the video for "The Lighthouse Tale". I was instantly hooked. In the past three weeks, the only times that this CD has left my car CD player were so that I could listen to it in my portable player as I walk around campus. Words cannot describe how incredible this CD is. I listen to it all the way through and its hard to pick a track that I don't like. The vocals are gorgeous, the instrumentals absolutely incredible. The thing that I love about Nickel Creek is that when you hear them, its easy to feel how much fun they're having doing what they love. Its hard to classify Nickel Creek; the twang of fiddle and mandolin make it easiest to lump it into bluegrass/country , but its so much more than that. The group defies pigeonholing and I think even transcends many genres of music. Its like Allison Krauss said: "Its just Nickel Creek music." You don't have to be into a certain type of music to like this CD; as an alternative/rock listener, I can attest to that. All you have to do is like good, heartfelt music. Buy this CD, its definitely one of the best of the last few years.
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By A Customer on May 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It is obvious from the first moment you hear Nickel Creek's music that it comes from somewhere deep within. Whether it's an instrumental or a song with lyrics, these young musicians play from their very heart and soul. In an era of country music where we readily accept artists that sound exactly like the ten artists before them, Nickel Creek stands out. The first track on the album, "Ode to a Butterfly" is so energetic and even playful. In the next song, "The Lighthouse's Tale", the group's vocals seem to bring the lighthouse to life. But by far my favorite songs on the album are tracks 6, 7, and 9. "When You Come Back Down" deals with a person's acceptance that they must let a loved one lead his or her own life, but that they can and will always be there for that special person. "Sweet Afton" is a musical interpretation of Robert Burns' poem that is simply amazing. "The Hand Song" is destined to bring a surge in the business of Kleenex. The lyrics of that song, sung so gently by Sara Watkins (with her brother Sean and their bandmate Chris Thile harmonizing on the choruses), made me cry the first time I heard them, and they still do. The innocence and purity and spirtiuality of a deep-rooted love stand in contrast to the manipulation of politics and the senseless destructiveness of war. But the overall message of this song is that if you share that special type of selfless love with just one person on earth, then your life will never have been in vain. Closing out with the toe-tapping song "The Fox" and the hopeful sounds of the instrumental "Pastures New", the debut album of Nickel Creek has taken the listener on a journey of the heart and spirit, and leaves the listener reflecting upon the souls of the musicians and upon his or her own self.
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