Thursday, October 13, 2005

wallpaper and pure, blistering magic


i'm amazed at what we let drift into the background.
my wife and i just got back from the nickel creek concert at ovens auditorium, and while it the most sterile environment we've seen them in, it was still an unbelievable show. the combo of those three kids blows my skull. newgrass, bluerock, alt.country, whatever you want to call it, the talent level in the room was blistering. there's three 20-ishs in the group, and they go off on their own for a few weeks, play with some of the best [read: oldtime] bluegrass musicians in the country, and come back together with a pile of new tunes that could create fourteen albums. they pick the best of that crop, jam on it for a while, and record their records 'live' - warts and all.
what comes out the other end is heavy magic, and i will never get enough of it.

but i digress.

in the midst of this group, made up of chris thile, a true savant on the mandolin [not many can woo successfully using only a mandolin], sarah watkins, a beauty who can create flames from her fiddle, and, well, that other guy, there is, well, that other guy.
sean watkins - that other guy - plays a killer guitar. he's not sexy in high heels ..sarah.., or reinvigorating a musical genre [hills music] ..chris.., instead, he simply plays a guitar like almost no one i've ever seen.
i mean, i've seen dave matthews, david wilcox, tim reynolds, phil keagy, and the edge - live. they are good. reeeeally good. but not one of them can match the finger skill - pure rolling grace - that sean owns when he's playing.
in nickel creek, he's the supporting act. he's the background. he's the simple grace that holds the tune together.
he fades into the background. he's wallpaper.

bu the wallpaper is magic. blistering magic.

2 comments:

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