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Nickel Creek--overrated?

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Ely 28 Mar 03 - 04:14 PM
Giac 28 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM
catspaw49 28 Mar 03 - 04:19 PM
Giac 28 Mar 03 - 04:20 PM
Wesley S 28 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM
Ely 28 Mar 03 - 04:45 PM
BanjoRay 28 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM
michaelr 28 Mar 03 - 09:10 PM
Gypsy 28 Mar 03 - 11:52 PM
Ely 29 Mar 03 - 12:17 AM
michaelr 29 Mar 03 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,returnee 29 Mar 03 - 06:42 AM
Mooh 29 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM
JedMarum 29 Mar 03 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Russ 29 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM
Beccy 29 Mar 03 - 10:50 AM
JedMarum 29 Mar 03 - 11:00 AM
Beccy 29 Mar 03 - 11:18 AM
SINSULL 29 Mar 03 - 11:39 AM
BanjoRay 29 Mar 03 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 29 Mar 03 - 01:15 PM
Paul G. 29 Mar 03 - 03:31 PM
BlueJay 30 Mar 03 - 06:06 AM
catspaw49 30 Mar 03 - 09:45 AM
SINSULL 30 Mar 03 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Eliza C 30 Mar 03 - 12:03 PM
Gypsy 30 Mar 03 - 01:51 PM
BanjoRay 30 Mar 03 - 04:35 PM
Walking Eagle 30 Mar 03 - 04:50 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 03 - 07:44 PM
GUEST 31 Mar 03 - 12:33 PM
Hamish 01 Apr 03 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Eliza C 01 Apr 03 - 07:33 AM
mooman 01 Apr 03 - 08:32 AM
JedMarum 01 Apr 03 - 08:50 AM
Hamish 01 Apr 03 - 09:04 AM
mutineer 01 Apr 03 - 10:29 PM
katlaughing 10 Aug 03 - 02:31 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 10 Aug 03 - 06:10 AM
Art Thieme 11 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM
fiercefiddler 11 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM
Chris in Wheaton 11 Aug 03 - 03:47 PM
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Subject: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Ely
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:14 PM

Since we got started on the Be Good Tanyas--what do y'all think of Nickel Creek? I know they won some bluegrass awards, but I saw them at the Austin City Limits festival last fall and sat through the whole set without hearing a note of what I'd call "bluegrass".


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Giac
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM

Uh, what do you call bluegrass?

I saw them live at a free street concert, in an area where just about every other man, woman and chile picks bluegrass, and Nickel Creek absolutely knocked our socks off. The crowd was wild for them and they put on a terrific show.

My 2 cents.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:19 PM

Well call it Bluegrass, Newgrass or whatever....they're friggin' great!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Giac
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:20 PM

By the way, if you put Nickel Creek in the search box, and check Forum, you'll get a bunch of 'Catter opinions on the band, starting a couple of years ago.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM

I've seen them live. They put on a great show - it's not what I call bluegrass - but I like it. Great musicianship from everyone in the group.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Ely
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 04:45 PM

"Newgrass" I can live with.

We mostly got a mandolin-laced jam band set out of them. Have you seen the episode of them on "Austin City Limits"? That kind of thing. Twiddling around but not going anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM

They're a very competent bunch of musicians who play pretty music that leaves a taste of plastic in my mouth. It bears no relationship to bluegrass, they don't use any bluegrass techniques or style (no banjo, for a start!). The occasional Old Time songs they play don't seem to have been learned or influenced by listening to the old folks.
Anyone who's not heard them can hear loads of samples here I'd classify them as a polished acoustic pop band.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 09:10 PM

Ely -- and bluegrass songs go exactly where?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 11:52 PM

Gaakkkkkkkkk! These kids are incredibly talented, and the people like em. Why does anyone want to bust thier chops? They certainly have worked hard enough to get where they are. and yes, if i hear the Fox one more time, might scream. But that is the radios fault, not the group


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Ely
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 12:17 AM

Michaelr--excuse me? As in, have some structure and a beginning and an end.

I never said they weren't talented, hadn't worked hard, or that people did (or shouldn't) like them; I just said they don't play bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 01:00 AM

Yeah, you're just showing your intolerance... I could swear NC's songs have beginnings, ends, and structures in between.

(oh, pssst... you're in the Folk Police, aren't you?)

Michael


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST,returnee
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 06:42 AM

So, how would you "Bluegrassers" classify the likes of Tony Rice,
Doc Watson, Bill Keith etc etc? from what musical limit do you start to de-classify these FANTASTIC musicians and refrain from inviting them to """""""" Bluegrass""""""" events? Don't cut your nose off to spite your face - Nickel Creek need your support!


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM

This strikes close to home, and on every music bulletin board I watch.

Not to take anything from the Dixie Chicks (for example) 'cause I kinda like 'em, but Nickel Creek have done more to attract a new audience to acoustic music and make musicianship an important part of the attraction. Neither group suffers from a lack of musical honesty, but Nickel Creek has less cosmetic gloss, physically and musically.

Overrated, not bluegrass? Who really cares? Rating and catagorization probably aren't large motivators for them musically and are only important to the marketers. I've been listening to Jerry Douglas' Restless On The Farm lately and it's not the usual definition of bluegrass either, but guess where it was found in the cd shop.

My perspective on this is that it's good music, particularly when compared to the vast majority of radio fare and young people's listening tastes in my neck of the woods. So what if the music genre police are offended? Artistic fascism is an oxymoron anyway.

I maintain a little music instruction studio where I teach (and yes, counsel) good folks about stringed instrument playing. I gently but firmly do as much as I can to direct listening (and hopefully playing) tastes towards non-pop, acoustic, innovative music, be it young or old. Sure, I still have to do my share of power chording, but I consider it part of the package. I get little or no resistance to Limehouse Blues, Opus 57, Boys Of Bluehill, Off To California, Planxty Irwin or any number of other acoustic tunes. As a matter of course I recommend Nickel Creek as a good listening. They bridge the gap between musics and between generations.

I wish there were more like them.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 09:58 AM

I love 'em! Great chops on all, good selection of music (I do prefer their bluergrass, but the new stuff is good too). But I gotta say that mandolin player is something very special! Where did he come from??? He was born at the head of the class.

They're creative, rootsy and maybe a bit too youthful for me, at times - but I love 'em!


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM

Gypsy,

We old folks like to bust on young folks. It's one or our prerogatives.

"Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way? What's the matter with kids today?"

Russ (grumpy geezer and proud)


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Beccy
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 10:50 AM

I love them. I think of them as a fusion of Bluegrass, Jazz 'n pop. Sort of in their own category, really. It's the same sort of thing as Bela Fleck. They really defy categorization.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 11:00 AM

Right on Beccy! I remember the same sort of talk about Bela Fleck in the early days. I know it may be heresy to say this, but this Nickel Creek mandolin player may be more gifted then Bela, even.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Beccy
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 11:18 AM

Chris Thile (the aforementioned mandolin player) is truly amazing. He has instructional videos out and was considered a child prodigy well before anyone had ever heard of Nickel Creek.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 11:39 AM

I too love them. Not pure bluegrass? OK But maybe it is the next step in the evolution. Nickel Creek is getting young people hooked on trditional and folk music. Bless them.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 12:08 PM

Nickel Creek is not getting people hooked on traditional and folk music - they're getting them hooked on Nickel Creek music, whatever that is. Traditional and folk it's not.
Nobody's criticising them for not being bluegrass or traditional or folk, merely pointing out that they aren't.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 01:15 PM

ickel Creek ROCK

It is as simple as that, why? I hear all of you who do not think this ask. Well They are young, are ALL fantastic players singers.

I could understand if you were knocking some boy band or something but you are knocking genuinly talented young musicians and I don't like that. These folks deserve respect.

BUT   Nickel Creek is not 'traditional'I hear you say. It may not be the real roots traditional country but you just can't dismiss musicians for not being by the book traditional. Just becasue they may not be 'traditional' does not mean they have any less to say or give to tradional music.

If you can enompass some of the tradition while moving it on I think that can only be good. Music developes, perhaps this is next generation country, and its good.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Paul G.
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:31 PM

They have this amazing youthful enthusiasm -- which probably enables them to ignore the purists, avoid the genre labels, and simply create what they feel. There is still no question that their pure musicianship has it's roots in the precision and instrumentation of bluegrass -- they've just punched out of the bag and turned it a bit sideways. The first album was a bit closer to the grass than the second, which fully exposes their creativity and fearless musicianship.

P.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: BlueJay
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 06:06 AM

Jed Marum- I was backstage at RockyGrass a couple of years ago, and watched Chris Thile trying out a custom guitar. This was before I knew who he was. As I watched, I thought to myself, "this guy is barely an adult, but can play guitar around most everybody I know". Funny, but he seemed a bit nervous about folks watching him play the guitar.
When Nickel Creek took the stage, I realized this was the same guy. What a mandolin player. One of the all time best, IMO.
Chris Thile is so steeped in music that even his guitar playing is way beyond what most guitar players ever realize. Just friggin phenomenal.

Yeah, I like Nickel Creek. I know they can do trad bluegrass, but why I try to pidgeonhole them, it doesn't work. Thanks, BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 09:45 AM

Yeah, didja' notice that chris fit right into Dolly's band on Mando? The BEST I ever heard, but playing in a pretty trad way. All of these kids got together through trad Bluegrass and can play and understand well the genre......they've just gone on as has been well stated here.

SAM PIRT (as a Guest above, but a Mudcatter without cookie really)......Those of you who have never heard Sam probably think he is just another saying the same thing as I and others did, but you'd be wrong. Sam is to accordion what Chris Thile is to mandolin and THAT is NOT an exaggeration!   Sam is truly steeped in trad folk and plays it extremely well ..... I mean extremely well. One of the most pleasurable, if shortest, evenings of my life was spent listening to Sam and Ian (along with old fart Bill Sables) play some great trad and then take the tunes elsewhere. Like Nickel Creek, Sam and his mates have upped the ante. And as Sam implied, he has brought other young folks into the tradition through his music....not just into his hot stuff, but into "the tradition." I submit that NC has done the same and not just to their music and NC, but around and back to their real roots as well.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 10:58 AM

Thanks, Spaw. That is what I was trying to say but was not literal enough for most. Nickle Creek plays their stuff; young people like it; they then are eager to hear more traditional stuff. GEEZ!

Isn't that what happened to many of us? We liked what the Kingston Trio and The Loving Spoonful were doing and then went beyond it to learn more.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST,Eliza C
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 12:03 PM

I shared a bill with them once,and for what it's worth, they left me totally cold. I was impressed by their musicianship and I really like the fiddle player's singing-and of course Chris is fantastic,but I would like to hear them cut out about half of the noodly stuff they do live.It's all very clean and very Nashville and I just don't get it.Being impressed just isn't enough for me.
We had a session after the gig and Chris totally cut loose with Martin (green), he went wild and I saw something that just won't be satisfied by playing the kind of acoustic rootsy pop that they play.Not to say that there isn't a place for them in the world,there is room for everyone and the chances are that they will point people towards the good stuff too.Whether or not those people will then "grow out" of Nickel Creek,we don't know, but I suspect it does happen.
All in my humble,of course.They are lovely people and deserve the best.
cheers,
eliza cx


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Gypsy
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 01:51 PM

Now, now, Russ, i don't buy that. One of our most talented players in our group could be my son.......and we don't bust his chops. Still think that the group has done alot for acoustic in general, and bluegrass in particular, for mainstreaming it.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 04:35 PM

I'm glad Eliza agrees with me - I thought I was the only one!
Ray


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 04:50 PM

I personally like them. That they are finding their own way is a plus to me. Any two people can play the same song and it will come out differently. What I like about them is that they are not show offs. Many times bluegrass leaves me cold because of a lot of the showy tricks used in the music. NC plays a song very spare. Where they could improve (and will,over time) is the lyrics in their song writing. It's called 'milage' I believe.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 07:44 PM

Banjoray...
I totally agree with you.
Talented they are....I do admire
there talent..
but bluegrass ???? Not in my book.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 12:33 PM

Walking Eagle makes two great points. Of course it's not Bluegrass, and it's not even "Newgrass"- it's pop music played on acoustic instruments. And they play tastefully, with great artistry, and don't do that show-offy, speed-whiz gak that passes for "traditional" Bluegrass (not necessarily correctly). And yes, their song writing is weak, and can only improve as they work on it. Chris Thiele is a prodigy, a virtuoso, much along the lines of Mark O'Connor, and they both are championing acoustic music while they take it in different directions. BRAVO!! BTW, I saw Chris and Mark play together at a Fiddle Fest in Northridge some 20 years ago, when they were both mere chiles, and they absolutely blew our socks off.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Hamish
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 05:08 AM

Since I started the "Be Goods - Over-rated?" thread, I'd better lob in my tuppence:

Nickle Creek are wonderful. Consummate musicians who can really hack it live. Okay, a bit twee at times, but I can forgive them that.


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: GUEST,Eliza C
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 07:33 AM

hello fellow GUEST. Are you sure it was Chris you saw? Two years ago he was nineteen/twenty,would make him only twenty one or two now. I know he was a child prodge,but still... :)


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: mooman
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:32 AM

No, I don't think so. I like them very much although I agree their songwriting can improve a bit although the singing is good. Still....they're very young and it's early days yet and their musicianship is awesome..

I'm personally not bothered what musical "category" they fall or don't fall into, not being a "category" sort of person.

Power to them!

moo


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:50 AM

Hamish - a bit twee??? Is that a typo, or do I just not understand the English language?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Hamish
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:04 AM

Jed

According to my Chambers Everyday Dictionary:
Twee adj. (colloquial) small and sweet: sentimentally pretty.

Hamish


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: mutineer
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:29 PM

I agree- they're all talented musicians and singers but they're writing could use some work. Then again, so could mine...
-pc


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:31 AM

I just saw these folks on a bluegrass special on PBS and have had to revise my opinion of them. I'd only heard them on the radio before this and didn't much care for them, but tonight's performance was a real joy to watch and hear. Sure they are young and could use some more maturity and polish, but they still have some real skill, esp. the kid on the mando. FWIW Vince Gill introduced them by saying he wouldn't exactly call what they do "bluegrass" either but there they were with the top dawgs, so to speak.

kat


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 06:10 AM

I saw them in Glasgow a while back. Their PA was terrible (I think the sound man worked with rock bands and simply did not know how to treat an acoustic line up). This may have been lack of management on the record company's side since there was also virtually no promotion at the venue (very few posters etc) and no merchandising stand! And this on a tour intended to promote a new album!

The signs were not good but they saved the day. In a fair sized venue they switched off the PA, took up the house lights and asked everyone to walk towards the stage. They then played acoustically - and blew us away! Astonishing!!

Best regards
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM

Don't get out much these days. I've not heard them but I hope to some day. What this is about though is that those who were there in the beginning, and KNOW what bluegrass music is and how it ought to sound, they cannot hear the bluegrass sound in this band. Please keep in mind that the more things change, the more they get different !!!

I feel the same way about my concept of what folk music IS and ISN'T. I feel many here are wrong when they define it too loosely. But whatever I think, I know for sure that it won't stop the changes from happening.

And one day I hope to hear Guest Carthy some day too.   ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: fiercefiddler
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM

I'm a fan....


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Subject: RE: Nickel Creek--overrated?
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 03:47 PM

I first saw Chris T and the Watkins kids around 1990. They were very young - like 10-12, but they were playing up a storm at open mikes and other gigs in San Diego, many organized by the North County San Diego Bluegrass and Folk Club. I think Chris' Dad played the bass then. They were very good from the start.
I would like to see them play more like Allison Krause or Laurie Lewis. But they definitely have found a niche for what they do. More power to them.
Chris in Wheaton


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