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Rock Picks: Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins goes solo at Cat’s Cradle

Sean Watkins’ latest solo album, “What to Fear,” offers up 10 nuggets of pop-earworm goodness.
Sean Watkins’ latest solo album, “What to Fear,” offers up 10 nuggets of pop-earworm goodness. Missing Piece Group

It’s always an interesting reductive exercise to compare solo albums from a given group to deduce who brought what to the table. Consider Nickel Creek, who emerged as an Americana wunderkind trio in the early ’90s and grew to platinum-selling status. Based on their output beyond the band, fiddler Sara Watkins provided a lot of the folksy grounding while mandolinist (and current MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow) Chris Thile was responsible for the quirkier edges and tangents. But guitarist Sean Watkins appears to be the one who brought the accessible pop sense. Watkins’ latest solo effort “What to Fear” offers up another 10 nuggets of pop-earworm goodness, which he’ll show off Tuesday at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro.

Doors open at 7 p.m., Petra Haden & Jesse Harris start things off at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12-$15. See catscradle.com for details.

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