Nickel Creek

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on August 24, 2003

Can you tell me how the bluegrass group Nickel Creek got its name?
—Sara K., West Virginia

Sara Watkins, her brother Sean, and Chris Thile got the name from the Byron Berline fiddle tune Nickel Creek when they formed the band more than a decade ago after they met at a weekly bluegrass show. Sara and Thile were 8 and Sean was 12 at the time. Their debut album, Nickel Creek, sold more than 800,000 copies. The band is technically a trio, with fiddle player Sara, Sean on guitar, and Thile on mandolin. Various bass players join them on stage. Nickel Creek won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album for the 2002 album This Side. "Musically, this band never stays the same," Thile says. "We love to grow." Sean and Thile, who do most of the writing and composing for Nickel Creek, have each recorded solo albums. Although they formed as a bluegrass band and are widely accepted in that circle of musicians, the trio says the the group is a conglomeration of everything they listen to—from Bach to Radiohead.