David Royko Psy.D

Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die?

Chicago Tribune
July 22, 2005

Nickel Creek
Why Should The Fire Die? (Sugar Hill)
By David Royko

Nickel Creek’s 2002 disc, This Side, reveled in its
eclecticism, practically screaming from the rooftops,
“We can do it all and we will!” Why Should the Fire
Die manages to be equally varied while sounding more
stylistically unified, focused, sophisticated, and, as
might be expected from a band that has been together
for 15 years but whose members are only in their
mid-twenties, mature. All tracks are originals with
the exception of Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is a Long
Time,” which is given an exceptional vocal by fiddler
Sara Watkins. The arrangements are rich and deeply
textured, amazingly so considering that this acoustic
group did little overdubbing and invited almost no
guests on board. The power of the opening cut, “When
In Rome,” a cautionary tale of conformity and
group-think with a whiff of stomping Celtic menace,
hits like a tidal wave, while the light-hearted
“Anthony” features a repeating mandolin ear-worm and
vocals that drip of old-style Western croon. One of
the three instrumentals, “Scotch and Chocolate,” could
be heard as a modernized extension of the traditional
“Cuckoo’s Nest” that has long been a rousing highlight
of live shows. Since their debut on Sugar Hill five
years ago, Nickel Creek has set the standards for
innovation within an acoustic setting, and their
latest raises the bar yet another notch.

 Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

More about Chris Thile:

THILE - At 13, mandolinist Chris Thile already is a mature artist (Chgo Trib, Nov 6, 1994) 

THILE - Chris Thile and the Galt House Fire Alarm (Moonshiner Magazine, October, 2000) 

THILE - Chris Thile--Deceiver, CD review (Chgo Trib, October 10, 2004)

THILE - Chris Thile, feature (Bluegrass Unlimited, June, 2007) 

THILE - Chris Thile--How To Grow A Woman From The Ground (Bluegrass Unlimited, 2007)

THILE - Chris Thile's Newgrass Gets A Little More Blue With His New Band (Chgo Trib,12-28-07) 

THILE - Ex-Nickel Creek Player's Sound Packs 'Punch'  (Chgo Trib, Feb 17, 2008)

NICKEL - Nickel Creek at Schuba's (Chgo Trib, May 9, 2001) 

NICKEL - Nickel Creek - This Side, CD review (Chgo Trib, August 11, 2002)

MANDOLIN - The Mighty Mandolin - Bush, Stiernberg, Thile, Marshall (Chgo Trib, Jan 20, 2006)