Mountain Heart/Nickel Creek (#320)

Two young bands with impressive lineups belt out the bluegrass.


This episode of Jubilee presents two young, talented bands that have an eye on tradition.

Mountain Heart, featuring an impressive lineup of young, new-generation pickers, opens the show. Led by Steve Gulley of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver fame, the band includes Barry Abernathy, Jim Van Cleve, Jason Moore, and Adam Steffey. Steffey received the 2002 International Bluegrass Music Association award for Mandolin Player of the Year.

Nickel Creek—mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, Sara Watkins on fiddle, and her brother Sean on mandolin—takes the stage next. This postmodern bluegrass trio calls its music “a conglomeration of everything we listen to.” Nickel Creek has garnered many awards since its debut album was released in 2000, including the 2000 IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year, 2001 IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year and Mandolin Player of the Year, and 2003 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Both groups were recorded for Jubilee at the Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.