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NICKEL CREEK
WHY SHOULD THE FIRE DIE?
SUGAR HILL

This young virtuoso trio ó siblings Sean and Sara Watkins on guitar and fiddle and long-time friend Chris Thile on mandolin ó could phone it in at this point without taking much flak. After all, they virtually invented newgrass with their first two albums, creating a new base for bluegrass while looking pretty enough for CMT. Anyone whoís seen the band play knows thereís more to their music than yee-haws and scale runs, and here they get the right balance of energy and sophistication in the studio. The centerpiece is "Canít Complain," a song of Thileís that with the addition of some drumming and droning would be right at home with Wilco. The instrumentals are jaw-droppingly fast and slick. Itíll be a crime if the bandís country credentials keep them in the roots ghetto: Why Should the Fire Die? may not be amplified, but itís as daring and exhilarating as any rock album.

Nickel Creek + Leona Naess | Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Pl, Boston | Oct 6 | 617.931.2000.

BY JEFF MILLER


Issue Date: September 23 - 29, 2005
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