Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek on The Morning Mix

Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek talks to Cindy Howes about A Dotted Line, the bands' first album since 2007.

Recently the string band Nickel Creek, who has been on hiatus for the past seven years, released a brand new album A Dotted Line and will be performing July 22 at Stage AE. Watkins talks about the band’s decision to go hiatus years ago saying after 18 and a half years, the band was exhausted creatively and from touring. The time off also gave the band members time to focus on projects they wouldn’t have otherwise had time to and become stronger musicians in the process.

Coming back to the project after that time, Watkins said, felt as if no time had passed.  “We’ve maintained relationships over the years and every time we’re in the same town, we’ll hang out.” When the band came back, Watkins didn’t want it to just be “a depressing memory” of songs the band used to play, so the band started the writing process for new material.

Sara Watkin’s song, Destination was one of the first from the new album to be released, she said, but it was one that was improved with the help of the rest of the band. “What I brought was the verse and the chorus melody and chords, and then Sean [Watkins] had this great groove, and Chris added to it.”

The first track “Rest of my Life” off the new album was the start of the songwriting that soon “tumbled forward” she said. “[Sean] had this great groove and this story behind what he was feeling when he started writing it.” “Things fell together very naturally.”

Watkins has been a bluegrass musician for years, bringing in new styles to cover songs while keeping the string aspect that the band has solidified in their sound. “Not seeing the instrumentation as being limited to a certain kind of song structure” is a key aspect to the band, Watkins says. “I think we were really lucky to have bluegrass etc. as primary influence when we were just little kids.”