Punch Brothers to release debut album 'Punch' (track listing) + US tour dates

Punch Brothers - Punch

Nonesuch Records releases 'Punch', the debut album from Punch Brothers, on February 25, 2008 in the UK (February 26, US). The band - composer-singer-mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile's new venture - includes Chris Eldridge (guitar), Greg Garrison (bass), Noam Pikelny (banjo), and Gabe Witcher (fiddle).

In conjunction with the release of the album, the ensemble's first for Nonesuch, Punch Brothers performed on January 16, 18, 20 and 23 in Glasgow as part of the Celtic Connections festival, and at London's Bush Hall on January 24.

The line-up of Punch Brothers - whose name is taken from the Mark Twain short story, Punch, Brothers, Punch! - is formidable. Chris Thile released the first of five solo albums when he was just thirteen and, by the time he was 20, he was attracting a following among pop, country, and alternative-rock audiences as a member of the Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek.

NPR's Bob Boilen recently said "I've seen many musicians in my day, but my jaw dropped listening to and watching Thile play...The command he had of his instrument, from frenetically fast strumming to tasty quiet fills, it was just first-rate."

His band-mates are among the most in-demand performers in the worlds of bluegrass, folk, and traditional music. Guitarist Chris Eldridge was a founding member of the Nashville-based The Infamous Stringdusters and occasionally sits in with his dad Ben's band, The Seldom Scene; bassist Greg Garrison has played with trumpeter Ron Miles and Leftover Salmon - along with banjo player Noam Pikelny. Pikelny has performed and recorded as a solo artist and has collaborated with acoustic music heavyweights John Cowan and Tony Trischka. Violinist Gabe Witcher, a life-long friend of Thile's, is a sought-after session man whose fiddle-playing has been featured on the soundtrack of films ranging from Toy Story to Brokeback Mountain. Witcher also has recorded with a range of artists from Willie Nelson to Beck to Randy Newman and played in dobro master Jerry Douglas' band for six years. Thile says, "I can't imagine being more excited about a project than I am about Punch Brothers. The possibilities are endless with these guys!"

'Punch' is centered around Thile's four-movement composition, "The Blind Leaving the Blind". "I had this idea of a long-form composition that was grounded in folk music," Thile explained, "Though much of it reads like a string quintet, there are parts that read like a jazz lead sheet. There is plenty of improvising and lots of stuff that is loosely dictated." The album also includes four shorter compositions co-written by Thile and his bandmates: "Punchbowl", "Sometimes", "It'll Happen" and "Nothing, Then".

The group (then known as The Tensions Mountain Boys) premiered The Blind Leaving the Blind last spring at the John Adams-curated In Your Ear Redux Festival at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. The band strived to retain the live feeling of this initial performance when it came time to record the album. "We didn't want to do any overdubbing," Thile expands. "Nothing was added. The studio was an amazing room...and the recording captures the beauty of that kind of room."

"Can anyone, anywhere, play anything any better than Chris Thile plays the mandolin? (Clue: they can't.)" - The Word

'Punch' track listing:

1. Punch Bowl
The Blind Leaving the Blind:
2. First Movement
3. Second Movement
4. Third Movement
5. Fourth Movement
6. Sometimes
7. Nothing, Then
8. It'll Happen

Catalogue information:
CD: 7559 799 828 DMD: 7559 799 827

Punch Brothers US tour dates (highly recommended):

Dates could be added or changed! Go to the Punch Brothers Website for the latest tour dates and information.

13 February 2008 Higher Ground, Burlington, Vermont
14 February 2008 Lebanon Opera House - On Sale 12/7, Lebanon, New Hampshire
15 February 2008 The Strand Theatre, Rockland, Maine
16 February 2008 Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield, Maine
17 February 2008 The Swyer Theatre at the Egg, Albany, New York
20 February 2008 The Allen Room at Time Warner Center, New York, New York
22 February 2008 Wintergrass Music Festival, Tacoma, Washington
23 February 2008 The Independent - 2 SHOWS: 7:00P & 10:00P, San Francisco, California
25 February 2008 Sierra Nevada Tap Room, Chico, California
27 February 2008 Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, California
28 February 2008 Troubadour - on sale 12/10, Los Angeles, California
1 March 2008 Soho Restaurant & Music Club, Santa Barbara, California
6 March 2008 Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, Bloomington, Indiana
7 March 2008 Southern Theatre, Columbus, Ohio
9 March 2008 Clemons Fine Arts Center, Paducah, Kentucky
27 March 2008 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall, Asheville, North Carolina
28 March 2008 Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, North Carolina
29 March 2008 The Clayton Center, Clayton, North Carolina
30 March 2008 North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square), Charlotte, North Carolina
2 April 2008 The Kent Stage, Kent, Ohio
3 April 2008 Seton Performance Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio
5 April 2008 Gild Hall - On Sale 1/12, Arden, Delaware
6 April 2008 Shubert Theater, New Haven, Connecticut
9 April 2008 Rams Head On Stage - EARLY SHOW, Annapolis, Maryland
9 April 2008 Rams Head On Stage - LATE SHOW, Annapolis, Maryland
25 May 2008 Delfest, Cumberland, Maryland

Punch Brothers - Punch on amazon.co.uk

Punch on amazon.com

Nonesuch Records Website

Punch Brothers Official Website
Punch Brothers on Myspace

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