Why should the fire die?
That’s the question Nickel Creek posed with the title of an album in 2005, after which the bluegrass trio ended a run that stretched back nearly two decades. The spark, as the members told it, wasn’t extinguished by any internal drama or creeping ill will; each simply wanted to play other kinds of music with other people. One answer to that question, then, seemed to be that sometimes the fire simply burns out.
But can it be relighted?
Nickel Creek argues yes, forcefully and often beautifully, on its gripping reunion effort, “A Dotted Line.” The record grew out of a handful of songwriting sessions that mandolinist Chris...