Track Listing

1. Shadow Ridge
2. Slime Rock
3. Holdin' Down The Fort
4. Faith River
5. Panhandle Rag
6. For All It's Worth
7. Shipwrecked
8. Trail's End
9. Salt Creek
10. Old Dangerfield
11. Old Favorites Medley: The Girl I Left Behind/Dixie/Liberty/Arkansas Traveler/Whiskey Before...
12. Chris Cross
13. How Great Thou Art


According to the liner notes, in most ways Chris Thile was typical 13-year-old when he put out this debut album (and the photos of the cherubic, Chicago Cubs-bedecked teen would seem to confirm this). From the musical evidence, though, he was a typical teenager in the way that, say, Mozart was probably a typical teenager. The level of playing and compositional skill, not to mention the imagination, displayed on Leading Off... is no less than virtuosic. And, incidentally, thrillingly so. Thile already proved himself a master mandolinist on this date (not to mention a pretty accomplished acoustic guitarist and fiddler, and a burgeoning banjo picker), which would be astounding in itself. But he also proves himself a strong, if not yet fully mature, writer and arranger. ~ Stanton Swihart

Personnel: Chris Thile (mandolin, guitar, fiddle), Scott Nygaard (guitar), John Moore (mandolin, guitar), Sean Watkins (mandolin), Pete Wernick, Dennis Caplinger (banjo), Stuart Duncan, Byron Berline (fiddle), Scott Thile (bass).