February 24, 2010

I'll have a glass of Punch (Brothers), please

First go here.

Now here.

Finally, go here. (My personal favorite.)

I had the great pleasure of witnessing a quintet of awesomeness last night. To say I walked out of the theater inspired is an understatement. I saw Punch Brothers last night at the beautiful Rivercenter. Punch Brothers is a "newgrass" group made up of Chris Eldridge on the guitar, Paul Kowert on the bass, Noam Pikelny (who the band kept calling "Pickles") on the banjo, Chris Thile (former lead singer and mandolin player for Nickle Creek) on the mandolin, and Gabe Witcher on the fiddle.

It was the most simple and pure performance I have ever sat through. Nothing but 5 guys, standing on a stage, with their instruments, 5 microphones, producing what I would consider to be the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I had a great view from the middle of the third row; but honestly, I could've listened to them while sitting in a dumpster of hot garbage and been totally happy. Seriously, they're that good.

They had a great stage presence between songs and oh, the songs themselves - lyrics that were so, well, lyrical. Some songs sounded folkish and ballad-y; some even poppish; while some were steeped in some good ole' traditional bluegrass. They played a ton of new, unreleased songs for us that were just, just, just phenomenal! Their new album will come out in May. If you're ready to put something new on your ipod, this is what you're looking for.

I stuck around and got to meet the guys. Very down to earth. (Pickles and the bass player didn't get in the picture.) From top right: Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Chris Eldridge (guitar), Chris Thile (mandolin and singer), Jeannie the BFF, and yours truly.

Anyway, they're definitely worth a listen. Check out their homepage where you can listen to some of their music. The music player on their site will play The Blind Leaving the Blind - a movement in four parts that Chris Thile solely composed and rumored to be based on his divorce from his wife in 2004.

They're going to be at Bonnaroo this year...you bring the tent, I'll bring the rye whiskey. See you in Tennessee.
Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, here are a few more links that feature Punch Brothers - some with their instruments along with one literal punch in the face and a DANCE OFF! Enjoy.
Colleen Malone
Brakeman's Blues - Perfect, PERFECT! traditional bluegrass
Dance Off

(And yes, this is what I did today.)

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