Chris Thile began his career as a 14-year-old mandolinist and for most of his early career, he kept mum. At some point, though, something snapped in the folkster, prompting him to give his voice a nice work out. Now he sings regularly on both his solo albums and on records with his band Nickel Creek, which is a smart move. His folksy vocals carry a nice dose of sincerity and truth; each lyric crackles with passion and love for a genre kept in the shadows. The guy’s a noted master at the mandolin, but his true musical talent really shines on his solo material, where he allows himself to stretch out and experiment.