Bluegrass Virtuosos Punch Brothers Play the Southern Theatre March 20
Posted: February 13, 2019
Punch Brothers are the quintet of mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny, and violinist Gabe Witcher. Says The Washington Post, "With enthusiasm and experimentation, Punch Brothers take bluegrass to its next evolutionary stage, drawing equal inspiration from the brain and the heart." In their most recent release, All Ashore (2018), Thile says the album is “a meditation on committed relationships in the present day, particularly in the present climate.”
CAPA presents Punch Brothers at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.) on Wednesday, March 20, at 8 pm. Tickets are $38.50-$58.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
When Punch Brothers released its last album, Phosphorescent Blues, in 2015, Rolling Stone noted, "The genius of Thile and bandmates guitar player Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, and fiddler Gabe Witcher is the artistry with which they mix bluegrass, roots, rock, pop, jazz, and classical to create a unique, contemporary sound."
All Ashore, the quintet’s fifth album and the first to be self-produced, also has an appealingly relaxed virtuosity to it, self-assured but never showy. It is both ambitious and easygoing, a lot like the "ridiculously eclectic" combo, as London's Guardian once called the band. The work has the feel of a nine-song suite, one that invites you to unravel the threads of its connected themes and stories over repeated listening. Each track segues seamlessly, even a little sneakily, into the next. Before you know it, "The Angel of Doubt," a dark-night-of-the-soul drama featuring a vocal from singer/mandolinist Chris Thile, has glided into "Three Dots and a Dash," an instrumental that veers from ruminative to rave up, named in tribute to a classic Tiki cocktail, Thile's latest recreational obsession.