Punch Brothers are now four albums along (if you count Chris Thile’s solo album How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, effectively the debut of the band minus one member), and their chameleon-like transformations continue on Who’s Feeling Young Now?, the newest set by the band. In setting aside some of the more blatant fusions of classical form with bluegrass instrumentation, territory in which Chris Thile continues to work with other collaborators, Punch Brothers have found a deft way of approaching popular songforms with unusual approaches (akin to the former collection done with Nickel Creek and Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips, Mutual Admiration Society).
In English, for longtime aficiandos of “new grass” music, this means that fans of ensembles like Hot Rize and New Grass Revival have a welcome album in that tradition to enjoy. For everyone else, it’s just a damned fine rock album that happens to played on mandolins and banjos and upright basses.
Join Todd Berryman for this week’s edition of OverEasy, featuring Punch Brothers, 7 to 11am AND pm this Sunday, on 92.3 WTTS. In the morning version ONLY, you’ll have a chance to win tickets for Bonnie Raitt and Marc Cohn, coming to Clowes Memorial Hall on May 16th!
In the past year, Punch Brothers banjoist Noam Pikelny won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, worth $50,000. Steve and Noam played “Dueling Banjos” together on The Late Show with David Letterman. See the performance, and its unusual result, by going here.