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A Dotted Line

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iTunes Review

A Dotted Line ends a nine-year recording hiatus for the band that brought bluegrass influences into the mainstream in the '00s. The members of Nickel Creek were in their twenties when this album's predecessor, Why Should the Fire Die, was released; since then, they've ventured into solo projects and new groups (Punch Brothers, Works Progress Administration). But after all that individual evolution, they've reconvened for a record that pretty much picks up where the trio left off. The cool, classy blend of folk, pop, bluegrass, and rock that made Nickel Creek famous is still the focus here, full of rich vocal harmonies and subtly surprising melodic turns. Within that paradigm, the group retain the eclecticism of old on everything from the hushed ballad "Christmas Eve" to the urgent, rock-inflected "You Don't Know What's Going On." Despite the band's considerable chops, the instrumentals ("Elsie," "Elephant in the Corn") contain nary an unnecessary note, and covers of tunes by art-pop siren Sam Phillips and Canadian indie rockers Mother Mother show the band's still got big ears.

Customer Reviews


Thank Jebus these guys are back.


Oh man I grew up jammin to these guys with my older brother on the way to school. Thank heavens these guys are back, it's been years and their albums are still on constant repeat in my house! So excited!!

A gift.

I have so many memories associated with the group. Emotional is the word I would use when I saw this was being released.


Formed: 1989 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Distinguished by their youth and eclectic taste, Nickel Creek became a word-of-mouth sensation on the progressive bluegrass scene and soon found their appeal spreading beyond the genre's core audience. Guitarist Sean Watkins, fiddler Sara Watkins (his younger sister), and mandolin/banjo/bouzouki player Chris Thile first started performing together in 1989, when all three were preteens and taking music lessons in their native San Diego. They met while watching the local band Bluegrass Etc., which...
Full Bio