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Nickel Creek, Breaking Down Bluegrass

Nickel Creek's contemporary take on bluegrass has won over many fans beyond the genre's main audience. The trio has been performing together since they were teenagers. Why Should the Fire Die? is their latest release.

It all started in Southern California, where Chris Thile (mandolin), Sean Watkins (guitar), and Sara Watkins (violin) learned to play together, arranging traditional-sounding music in ways that left them room for improvisation.

The album is Nickel Creek's third; it follows 2002's This Side and their self-titled debut of 2000, which was produced by Allison Krauss. Through it all, their sound -- sweet harmonies punctuated by mandolin, banjo, even bouzouki -- has continued to grow.

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