Though Nickel Creek started out as a bluegrass band, the groups music expands on those influences by incorporating Beatles-flavored psychedelia, left-of-center alt-rock, pop, folk, and more.
The three young members of this innovative band are mandolin ace Chris Thile, fiddle player Sara Watkins, and guitarist Sean Watkins (Saras brother). Thile first met the Watkins siblings, fittingly enough, through music, when their respective parents took them to hear a weekly bluegrass show at That Pizza Place in Southern California.
Nickel Creek has been together for more than 13 years. Individually, the members have performed or recorded with the Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Béla Fleck, Glen Phillips, and others. Both Chris and Sean have released solo albums, and all three won various instrumental contests in their teens. As Nickel Creek, they scored a Grammythe first of what could be manyfor Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Rolling Stone included Nickel Creek in its Best of 2002, while Time magazine listed the band as one of 5 Music Innovators for the Millennium in a special May 2000 feature.
Nickel Creeks self-titled debut album, released in March 2000, sold more than 800,000 copies. The follow-up, This Side, premiered at #18 on the Top Album Chart in August 2002.