A Prairie Home Companion. Thile has come to the stage (and the studio) to match wits and riffs with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, who like Thile has taken one of our country’s classic instrumental styles and gotten millennials to pay attention to it. The great artists transcend genre and era, and together Thile and Mehldau embody things about America that we can all hold up as lasting and good.
As the longest limb in the three-pronged bluegrass youth movement Nickel Creek, Chris Thile stood out, his lanky frame gyrating irreverently to his vitriolic mandolin, in striking contrast to the stoicism from elder statesmen of the tradition. He has since become the fresh face and voice to lead this music into the foreseeable future, helped by Garrison Keillor’s decision to pick him as his successor as host of