How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

Infobox Album |
Name = How to Grow a Woman from the Ground
Type = Album
Artist = Chris Thile


Released = September 12, 2006
Recorded = Sear Sound Recording Studios
Genre = Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass
Length =
Label = Sugar Hill
Producer = Chris Thile
Reviews =
*"Allmusic" Rating|4|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:yyadqj2rojda link]
*"Arizona Republic" Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/ae/articles/1022cdspins1022thile.html link]
*"Entertainment Weekly" (feature) [http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2007/03/on_the_scene_ch.html link]
*"Harp" (positive) [http://harpmagazine.com/reviews/cd_reviews/detail.cfm?article_id=4871&searchword=Nickel%20Creek link]
*"JamBase" (positive) [http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=9068 link]
*"Music Box" Rating|3|5 [http://www.musicbox-online.com/reviews-2006/christhile-howtogrowawoman.html link]
*"Portsmouth Herald" (feature) [http://archive.seacoastonline.com/news/11072006/entertainment-f-n7-newoncd.html link]
Last album = "Deceiver"
(2004)
This album = "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground"
(2006)
Next album = "Punch"
(2008)

"How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" is a 2006 album by Chris Thile & the How to Grow a Band, credited to Chris Thile. It was released on September 12, 2006. The album is named after a song on the album; a cover of the original by folk singer Tom Brosseau.

The album debuted to positive reviews from major music critics, with critics calling the album “fantastic, eclectic”,Lankford, Ronnie, Jr. [http://wm01.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:yyadqj2rojda Chris Thile : How to Grow a Woman from the Ground Review] . "Allmusic". Retrieved November 2, 2007.] and “genius”.Heisler, Brian. [http://www.jambase.com/Articles/Story.aspx?StoryID=9068 Chris Thile: How to Grow a Woman...] . "JamBase". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2007.] The album earned Thile a Grammy Award-nomination in 2006.

Conception and production

For one of his side projects, Chris Thile knew he wanted to form a string quintet comprised of mandolin, violin, banjo, guitar, and bass with childhood friend and fiddler Gabe Witcher,cite web | url = http://web.archive.org/web/20060826212803/http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=12&screen=news&news_id=51705 | title = Nickel Creek’s Thile 'grows' a new band | publisher = "Nashville City Paper" | date = 2006-08-23 | accessdate = 2007-10-13] but didn’t know which direction he wanted to take the band. At the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado, Thile met banjoist Noam Pikelny and later commented that “every note he played was something I wish I’d played”. It was then that Thile realized that he wanted to “put [his] stamp on the traditional bluegrass ensemble”. [Royko, David. "Chris Thile". "Bluegrass Unlimited". June 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2007] Thile wanted to get five musicians together for a Nashville jam session in 2005, after he found talented bluegrass musicians that could fill the positions. The bassist Thile was searching for, Greg Garrison, was recommended to Thile by Pikelny, who had performed alongside Garrison in the Cajun jam band Leftover Salmon. The guitar position was filled by Chris Eldridge famous as a member of the Infamous Stringdusters. The five musicians met up in Nashville one day in 2005 and decided that they needed to “do something musical together”. A few nights later, the group met again “just to drop a ton of money, drink too much wine, eat steaks, and commiserate about our failed relationships”.cite web | url = http://web.archive.org/web/20060826212803/http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=12&screen=news&news_id=51705 | title = Nickel Creek’s Thile 'grows' a new band | publisher = "Nashville City Paper" | date = 2006-08-23 | accessdate = 2007-10-13] That night, they came to an agreement and formed a bluegrass band.

The quintet decided to make this project serious and record an album. The album was recorded over the course of two days in 2006 at Sear Sound Recording Studios in New York. The album was not recorded digitally, but rather on tape. In an interview with the United States magazine "Guitar Player", Chris Thile explained the old fashioned style in which the album was recorded: cquote|"It was recorded at Sear Sound in New York using two vintage Telefunken ELA M 251 E mics into a Forsell Technologies FetCode preamp. Most of it was recorded onto the same Studer 1" two-track that was used to mix Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! Everything was tracked live, and I’ve decided never to record wearing headphones again unless I absolutely have to. Wearing headphones is bullshit, because you’re in your own little world playing to a mix that no one will ever hear but you. What’s the point?" [cite web | url = http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/chris-thile/jan-07/24828 | title = Guitar Player Interview: Chris Thile | publisher = "Guitar Player" | date = 2007-01-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-10] "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" was self produced by Thile, and had no guest musicians, just the quintet. Other than the band, which in promotion of the album was named the How to Grow a Band, the album had a fairly small production crew; an engineer, an assistant engineer, two mastering people, and an artist.Thile, Chris. "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" Liner Notes. "Sugar Hill". September 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2007.]

Musical style

"How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" takes influence from different genres, “drawing equally from traditional bluegrass, progressive acoustic, and singer/songwriter traditions”, with one critic calling the majority of the album very “roots oriented”.Metzger, John. [http://www.musicbox-online.com/reviews-2006/christhile-howtogrowawoman.html "Chris Thile - How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (Album Review)"] . "Music Box". September 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2007.] The album has a bluegrass or progressive bluegrass core; bluegrass mandolinist Ronnie McCoury became the album’s official “bluegrass guru” to ensure that there was “someone who could make sure we didn’t do anything clichéd or trite”. [http://www.maxxmusic.com/concerts/thile.htm Chris Thile at McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square] . "Maxx Music". Retrieved November 2, 2007] In regard to the album’s style, Thile said that “All in all, "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" is a bluegrass record. There are definitely some musical things that are out of the ordinary, but it sounds like a bluegrass record to me. It’s not all like “Brakeman’s Blues,” but “Brakeman’s Blues” doesn’t sound out of place, and neither does “The Beekeeper” sound out of place. It’s all related.” Much of Thile's work on the album was influenced by his divorce, and Thile claims that he could relate to the title of the album, a Tom Brosseau song. Thile said that he "got my ass kicked by the last relationship I was in. This girl just left. It created a pretty serious complex for me. I’ve always been able to talk to girls, but I’m scared of them. I just could relate to it. Like, man if I could just grow one, that would take care of a lot of problems." [ [http://cornellsun.com/node/21197 After Nickel Creek, Thile Continues to Grow] . "Cornell Daily Sun". Retrieved November 2, 2007]

Critical reception

"How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" received positive reviews from country and bluegrass music critics. Allmusic called it "fantastic",Lankford, Ronnie, Jr. [http://wm01.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:yyadqj2rojda Chris Thile : How to Grow a Woman from the Ground Review] . "Allmusic". Retrieved November 2, 2007.] and "JamBase" described it to be "a tasteful string dinner" and stated that "this is only the beginning of great things to come".Heisler, Brian. [http://www.jambase.com/Articles/Story.aspx?StoryID=9068 Chris Thile: How to Grow a Woman...] . "JamBase". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2007.] However, some critics found particular tracks to pale in comparison to the rest of the material. The Arizona Republic stated that the album was "amazing", except for "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" because "Thile [couldn't] quite match Jack White's musical hysteria".Senft, Michael. [http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/ae/articles/1022cdspins1022thile.html "New CD Reviews"] . "Arizona Republic". October 22, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2007.] Music Box also said that tracks like "Stay Away" and "I’m Yours If You Want Me" "completely fell flat". Regardless, the review still stated that "the bulk of "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" is remarkably engaging".Metzger, John. [http://www.musicbox-online.com/reviews-2006/christhile-howtogrowawoman.html "Chris Thile - How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (Album Review)"] . "Music Box". September 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2007.] "Bullz-Eye" criticized Thile's vocal quality, saying that "his voice often lacks the strength and/or character to carry the song".Giles, Jeff. [http://www.bullz-eye.com/cdreviews/giles/chris_thile-how_to_grow_a_woman_from_the_ground.htm "Chris Thile : How to Grow a Woman from the Ground"] . "Bullz-Eye". Retrieved December 29, 2007.] On the contrary, the previously mentioned JamBase article complimented Thile's vocal strength, saying "it's the soul in Thile's voice and the heart and intensity of the musicianship that give the album its power."Heisler, Brian. [http://www.jambase.com/Articles/Story.aspx?StoryID=9068 Chris Thile: How to Grow a Woman...] . "JamBase". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2007.]

Track listing

Personnel

*Chris Thile - mandolin, lead vocals, producer
*Noam Pikelny - banjo, vocals
*Greg Garrison - bass, vocals
*Chris Eldridge - acoustic guitar, vocals
*Gabe Witcher - fiddle, vocals
*Ronnie McCoury - "bluegrass guru"
*Loren Witcher - artwork
*Gary Paczosa - mastering
*Fred Forsell - mastering engineer
*Matthew Gephart - engineer
*Ethan Donaldson - assistant engineer

Chart performance

Notes

References

*"How to Grow a Woman from the Ground" liner notes

External links

* [http://www.christhile.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/christhile Chris Thile's MySpace page]


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