Music: Postmodern Country Songs


Nothing about them smells of bluegrass. They're from San Diego, for one thing, and the fresh faces of Nickel Creek's musicians make them look like one of those trendy outfits from Iceland. Their influences range from Mozart to Counting Crows, and their tunes have ethereal titles like Ode to a Butterfly. But this nontraditional trio is the biggest thing behind a budding bluegrass revival. Their sound? Something like Dueling Banjos as remixed by Fatboy Slim. This cultural collision of the sweetest kind is the handiwork of guitarist Sean Watkins, 24; his sister Sara, 19, a violinist; and mandolin player Chris Thile,...

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