As a solo musician, Sean Watkins early material was contemporary bluegrass, but as time goes on, he has incorporated various other influences into his music (especially indie rock). Sean Watkins's solo music career seems to be going the same path as Nickel Creek; turning from beautiful traditional bluegrass songs to indie rock with bluegrass instrumentation. Sean Watkins is the oldest member of Nickel Creek. "My first instrument was the piano when I was six", Sean recalls.
"I took classic instruction for seven years, but three years into that I discovered bluegrass music, through my piano teacher's son, who had a bluegrass band that played every Saturday night at a pizza place in Carlsbad. I really got into it, and when Sara [Watkins] and I met Chris, we started playing with him on Saturday nights too." He began playing mandolin in the early career with Nickel Creek, but later switched to guitar. Sean made it to the National Flatpicking Championship in 1993 at age 16. Now Nickel Creek has exploded in the contemporary folk/bluegrass scene.
This Watkins has already released 3 solo albums and appeared on many others. Of this experience, Watkins has said, "I've learned now to look back to music that has lasted through the years and to appreciate the timeless value that it has." Sean's first album Let it Fall consists primarily of bluegrass inspired instrumental tracks. Providing the vocals on the only sung track on the album is former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips. Sean's second album, 26 Miles was a much bigger departure from bluegrass.
While still mainly acoustic, the album showed influences from jazz, indie rock, and new age music. His third album, Blinder's On continues along many of the same lines as the previous one. It was recently announced on Nickel Creek's website that the band would go on hiatus at the end of 2007. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Sean states that he plans to make music for movies. Read more on Last.fm.
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