Nickel reunites for tour, CD

Monday, February 3, 2014 – Nickel Creek is regrouping for the first time in six years and launching a spring tour, it was announced Monday. This is the prelude to a new disc as well.

Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle/vocals) and Sean Watkins (guitar/vocals) officially reunite for the first time since its 2007 self-described "indefinite hiatus" with a U.S. tour this spring and summer, with shows in Nashville, New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, and Oakland and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival .

A ticket pre-sale will begin Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. local time at nickelcreek.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, Feb. 7.

'Further information about the tour, and about a forthcoming Nickel Creek album, will be announced shortly," the band said in a statement. A sneak peak at the album track "Destination" is streaming now .

Formed in 1989 when Thile and Sara Watkins were eight years old and Sean Watkins (Sara's older brother) was 11, Nickel Creek earned a loyal following playing the festival circuit for nearly a decade. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 2000, selling nearly 1 million copies. Nickel Creek released two more records: 2002's "This Side," which won a Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy, and 2005's "Why Should the Fire Die?"

The band members explored their own solo work as well as collaborations, which they were able to pursue more fully during their hiatus, and will continue to do.

Thile has released three albums and an EP with his band Punch Brothers, with whom he also was featured on the T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack for Joel and Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis"; a set of tradition-upending interpretations of bluegrass classics with guitarist Michael Daves, "Sleep With One Eye Open"; a solo disc entitled "Bach Partitas and Sonatas, Vol.1"; a record of duets with his mentor, bassist Edgar Meyer; and the Grammy-winning "Goat Rodeo Sessions" album with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Stuart Duncan, and Meyer. He also toured with the jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and performed his mandolin concerto, "Ad astra per alas porci," with several chamber orchestras around the U.S. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, a recipient of its prestigious "Genius Grant."

Sara Watkins and her brother Sean have, for years, held an informal residency at the L.A. club Largo: the Watkins Family Hour often includes surprise cameos from friends and colleagues. Nonesuch released "Sara Watkins," produced by John Paul Jones, in 2009. In the three years between it and her second record, "Sun Midnight Sun," Watkins toured the world both as a solo artist and as guest fiddle player/vocalist with The Decemberists and also joined Garrison Keillor on his nationwide Summer Love performance tours; she also was Keillor's first and only guest host for A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts. She recently opened for, and played with, Jackson Browne on a worldwide tour joined by Sean.

Sean Watkins has formed the acoustic folk/pop band Fiction Family (alongside Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot), co-writing as well as co-producing two records, "Fiction Family" (2009) and "Reunion" (2013). He also assembled the eight-member Americana super-group WPA (Greg Leisz, Benmont Tench, Pete Thomas, Davey Faragher, Glen Philips, Luke Bulla, and Sara Watkins) and co-produced its self-titled record, "WPA." The band then toured extensively in support of the album. In early 2014, Watkins will release "All I Do Is Lie," his first solo record in eight years.

Tour dates are:
Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, Nashville, Ryman Auditorium
Tuesday, April 29, New York, Beacon Theatre
Thursday, May 1, Boston, House of Blues
Saturday, May 3, Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
Friday, May 9, Chicago, Riviera Theater
Monday, May 19, Oakland, Fox Theater
June 19-22, Telluride, Col., Telluride Bluegrass Festival

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A Dotted Line CD review - A Dotted Line
Like those annual warnings predicting it's not a matter of if, but rather when a hurricane will strike some part of the U.S., the possibility of a Nickel Creek reunion was never in doubt. After all, when two of the players (Sara and Sean Watkins) are siblings and the third (the ever nimble Chris Thile) maintains an amiable relationship with the pair, a regrouping would seem somewhat inevitable. Happily though, the prospects are far more pleasant than the dire notice served up by the weather forecasters. »»»