You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Album review | ROOTS

Nickel Creek, ‘A Dotted Line’

Brantley Gutierrez

When this virtuosic roots trio went on “indefinite hiatus” in 2007 it wasn’t to take a vacation, although they’d certainly earned one having played together since childhood. Instead, all three singer-instrumentalists — mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Sara Watkins, and guitarist Sean Watkins — pursued a plethora of solo and group projects that traversed bluegrass, country, pop, rock, and classical.

But like old friends who fall right back into conversation, Nickel Creek picks up the thread in glorious fashion on “A Dotted Line.”

Continue reading below

The time away has done the California-spawned group good, as the conversation is familiar — intricate instrumental phrasing, pristine harmonies — but also full of fresh energy that lends everything from the buoyant gospel bluegrass of “21st of May” to the joyously bleary “Rest of My Life” an air of excitement.

In addition to new original material the trio tackles two covers including Sam Phillips’s “Where Is Love Now” and a funky, angular take on Mother Mother’s “Hayloft.”

Celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary, “A Dotted Line” is a vibrant reminder of Nickel Creek’s youthful promise and proof that it has plenty left to say. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Destination”

Nickel Creek plays the House of Blues on May 1.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at srodman@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.