How to Grow a Woman From the Ground

So who’s heard of Nickel Creek? They’re a tight progressive bluegrass trio that have been together since the 90’s. Alison Krauss produced their self titled debut on Sugar Hill Records in 2000 (the same year I saw them at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival). Well, their talented 25-year old mandolin player, Chris Thile, has released a few solo albums of his own, with another one due out September 12th. Chris has been playing mandolin since the age of 5, and was working on his first solo album by the age of 12 (I’m feeling like an underachiever here!).

The new record, ‘How to Grow a Woman from the Ground’, features old tunes and new. Thile gives the traditional treatment to the Strokes (“Heart in a Cage”) and the White Stripes (“Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”), and also covers tunes by Jimmie Rodgers and Gillian Welch.

He brings in friends Chris Eldridge (guitarist and member of the Infamous Stringdusters), a couple members of Leftover Salmon – Greg Garrison (bass, vocals) and Noam Pikelny (banjo, vocals) – and fiddler Gabe Witcher.

chris thile

It’s definitely recommended that you pick up this CD when it’s released next month. You can check out some tunes on Chris’ MySpace page (listen to his fingers FLY on “The Beekeeper”), and I’m going to play one for you here that steers right into beautifully written ballad territory. This tune wins me over to Chris’ side, showing that the man knows how to write a great song: lyrics that are simple, yet so poignant and powerful. Nice work Chris. Check it out.

Chris Thile: You’re an Angel, and I’m Gonna Cry (mp3) – from the forthcoming release ‘How to Grow a Woman from the Ground’ (out Sept. 12)

Chris Thile on: MySpace | Amazon | Sugar Hill Records


  • jaylia strange

    Nicklecreek are a beautiful band indeed and this track is wonderful stufff.
    if you want to get more of their music then The Late Greats
    posted two KEXP sessions recently and then of course over at the Archive
    there a whole load of Mutual Admiration Society shows -they being Nicklecreek and Glenn Phillips together- live they also have Pete Thomas (elvis costello) and John Paul Jones (Led Zep) as their rhythm section , and on one show the legendary Jon Brion guest staring) and The Watkin Family Hour which is the other two thirds of Nicklecreek who do Largo Shows with lots of special guests (Dan Wilson, David Garza). finally over at the woodsongs download site
    theres live stuff from Chris himself and Nicklecreek (both in audio and video) so lots of great stuff to expand your knowlege of this great band and all its offshoots. hope this has been helpful

  • Jim

    Nice, Beekeper is better. Is it poosible to like “thrash” Bluegrass? Is that speedabilly? Blue wave, no. I have to get back to you on this concept.

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