I saw the bluegrass music group Nickel Creek in person last night at the PACK Center in Asheville, NC. My wife, Becky, stood in line at 7 a.m. in the freezing cold back in February to purchase front row center seats as my surprise birthday present. If you’ve never heard this group, I can only say that you have missed out on some of the most incredible bluegrass music you will ever hear.
I can truly say that the evening was the most joyous one I have ever experienced. There was true love in the hall, and it was reciprocal between the audience members and the performers on stage. Although all three members of the group (sister and brother, Sara and Sean Watkins, and Chris Thile) are superb, it is Thile, without a doubt, who is the heart and soul of Nickel Creek. He plays the mandolin with an ease and intimacy that seems to suggest that he may well have invented the instrument. He glides across the stage, dancing and interacting with the other members of the group, while playing technically demanding passages as easily as another might breathe air. Sara Watkins’ fiddle playing is nothing less than incredible (as is her voice). Brother Sean plays guitar with a reckless abandon that belies his disciplined talent, while his voice complements those of his singing companions.
This is a reunion tour, after a several-year hiatus, but the most amazing thing is that Sean, the oldest member of the group, is only 37. Amazingly, Thile and Sara are just 34. We only hope that they continue to make their magical music for many more years.
There is little doubt that I was in the presence of pure genius in the person of Chris Thile, and I dare say I glimpsed the hand of God on his shoulder.
To learn more about this amazing trio, read about them on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_Creek
NOTE: Joe Perrone Jr is the author of the highly-successful Matt Davis Mystery Series: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day (a 2012 Indie B.R.A.G. medallion winner), Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. All four are available in paperback and E-book. As the Twig is Bent and Opening Day are also in audiobook, with Twice Bitten and Broken Promises soon to follow.
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