Punch by Punch Brothers on Apple Music

9 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mandolin player extraordinaire and former Nickel Creek member Chris Thile has a new outfit, Punch Brothers, and their debut release is a complex and impressive first outing. Right off, on “Punch Bowl,” things take a turn when a whiff of dissonance permeates the middle part of the track. You are suddenly aware that things are not what they seem, and you know by track’s end this won’t be your granddad’s bluegrass. The songs are rooted in the sorrow of Thile’s own personal pain of a marriage in crisis, and at the heart is an emotional, expansive four-part suite, “The Blind Leaving the Blind,” which demands the most active listening. With shifting time signatures, odd tunings and harmonies, occasional discord, and even jazzy interludes, these pieces are an avant-bluegrass opera, unraveling the narrative both in words and in astonishing musical textures. Of course, there are also simpler moments of musical pleasure, such as the fragile and hopeful “It’ll Happen,” with violin, banjo and mandolin executing a beautifully choreographed pas de trois with all the grace those instruments are capable of.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mandolin player extraordinaire and former Nickel Creek member Chris Thile has a new outfit, Punch Brothers, and their debut release is a complex and impressive first outing. Right off, on “Punch Bowl,” things take a turn when a whiff of dissonance permeates the middle part of the track. You are suddenly aware that things are not what they seem, and you know by track’s end this won’t be your granddad’s bluegrass. The songs are rooted in the sorrow of Thile’s own personal pain of a marriage in crisis, and at the heart is an emotional, expansive four-part suite, “The Blind Leaving the Blind,” which demands the most active listening. With shifting time signatures, odd tunings and harmonies, occasional discord, and even jazzy interludes, these pieces are an avant-bluegrass opera, unraveling the narrative both in words and in astonishing musical textures. Of course, there are also simpler moments of musical pleasure, such as the fragile and hopeful “It’ll Happen,” with violin, banjo and mandolin executing a beautifully choreographed pas de trois with all the grace those instruments are capable of.

TITLE TIME
3:29
12:13
9:21
11:58
8:32
4:41
3:02
3:06
3:32

About Punch Brothers

After Nickel Creek disbanded in 2007, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile assembled an all-star quintet called Punch Brothers (the name comes from the Mark Twain short story Punch, Brothers, Punch!) with guitarist Chris Eldridge, formerly of the Infamous Stringdusters; bassist Greg Garrison, who has played with Ron Miles and Leftover Salmon; banjo player Noam Pikelny, who has worked with John Cowan and Tony Trischka, and violinist Gabe Witcher, a sought-after session musician and a member of Jerry Douglas' band for a half-dozen years. The new group quickly signed with Nonesuch Records and issued a debut album, Punch, in 2008, which was anchored by Thile's ambitious 40-minute, four-part suite "The Blind Leaving the Blind." The double-disc (plus a third DVD concert disc) Antifogmatic, produced by Jon Brion, arrived from Nonesuch in 2010, and was followed in 2012 by Who's Feeling Young Now?, produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, Modest Mouse), and the Ahoy! EP. After working with T-Bone Burnett on the soundtrack for the 2013 Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis, the Punch Brothers teamed with the producer to record their fourth full-length album, The Phosphorescent Blues, which appeared in January 2015. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY [Brooklyn]
  • FORMED
    2006

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