Why Should the Fire Die?
Sean Watkins (guitar), his sister Sara (violin) and Chris Thile (mandolin) are first-rate bluegrass-folk musicians. The rub is that these three young Southern Californians try to sing, for which they have only very limited aptitude. This is most apparent on the songs where Thile sings the lead, all too often in a wan, mewling style. Sara Watkins, taking the lead on Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," demonstrates a little more involvement in the material. The instrumentals "Stumptown" and "Scotch & Chocolate" are more musical, giving Thile in particular a chance to flex his talent as a picker.--R.N.
**DOWNLOAD THIS: "Scotch & Chocolate"