- July 21, 2014
Sean Watkins will probably always be described as one-third of the band Nickel Creek. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Sean developed his flatpicking guitar and songwriting skills as the group moved from traditional bluegrass to contemporary roots pop. Watkins released three solo albums while making headlines with his band, working to developed musical relationships outside of the ensemble with artists like Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. Folk Alley interviewed Sean on the stage at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, soon after the release of his All I Do Is Lie, while he was on a reunion tour with Nickel Creek. The oldest member of Nickel Creek, Sean started performing bluegrass with his sister, Sara, and Chris Thile when he was an ancient 12 years-old. The group had success on the indie, bluegrass and country charts - winning praise including a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album for 2002's This Side and developing a large, cross-generational following. In 2007, the band decided to go on a break, each taking off for their own solo projects. Sean worked on several collaborations - Fiction Family, Works Progress Administration, The Watkins Family Hour - while also accompanying his sister on tour during the trio's hiatus. The three continued to cross paths and reunited for a tour in 2014.