Nickel Creek was perhaps the best-known acoustic music group of the late '90s and early 2000s. The band formed in 1989 in Carlsbad, Calif., when its three principal members — Chris Thile and siblings Sean and Sara Watkins — were still children.
Whistling polymath Andrew Bird has become a perennial favorite of folk-pop aficionados and classical fans alike. As a trained violinist and a longtime touring musician, he has a way of expertly melding many genres and influences into his own unique brand of baroque pop. Showcasing his impressive skills with the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals, Bird is a picture of versatility.
Janet Feder came to NPR with an infant guitar, the curiosity of a child and a wild imagination. The guitar was just a couple of months old — hand made for her by Los Angeles-based guitarist and teacher Miroslav Tadic. It's a nylon-string baritone electric! Its player is diminutive — barely taking up any space behind Bob Boilen's desk. Yet, if you look closely, you'll see the products of her immense curiosity and imagination. A small split ring (like the kind you put your keys on) holds a metal bead in place on the top E string near the sound hole.