Chris Thile is a nimble-fingered plectrum-picker whose apparently effortless virtuosity, both solo and as a member of hot young bluegrass band Nickel Creek
, prompts ecstatic and well-deserved praise from his fellow musicians. Not All Who Wander Are Lost
, his third solo album, itself wanders farther from the bluegrass roots of his earlier records to explore neo-classical, trad-Irish and even jazz forms (the track "Club GROSS", inspired by Calvin & Hobbes, sounds like a Raymond Scott
composition--if Scott had written for the mandolin). Other tracks are variously inspired by Queen Amidala ("Song for a Young Queen") and baseball ("Big Sam Thompson"), while the album title is derived from Tolkien.
It is this musical eclecticism that distinguishes Thile from other bluegrass wizards like Ricky Skaggs or Sam Bush, and gives him a closer affinity with British mandolin virtuoso Simon Mayor, whose own recordings explore classical, folk and original pieces. Both Mayor and Thile are devoted to extending the boundaries of popular mandolin repertoire beyond its folky confines. Both with Nickel Creek and in his solo outings, Thile has done a great deal to show off the full range of this marvellous little instrument. --Mark Walker
By the age of 13 Chris Thile had world class chops, developed sophisticated composing skills and released a solo album. A mere six years later the child prodigy has blossomed into a master musician. With another solo record and the phenomenal success of his band Nickel Creek Chris is quickly ascending to the throne of mandolin maestro. Guest artists include Jeff Coffin, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyers, Byron House and Stuart Duncan.