Album: Punch Brothers, Punch, (Nonesuch)

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The Independent Culture

We listen to virtuosos slightly differently. Can't be helped, we just do. So what you make of 'Punch' will depend to large degree on your reaction to Chris Thile's playing.

He's a mandolinist and a jaw-dropping one – he almost redefines what you imagine a humble, twiddly little mandolin might be able to say. But there it is – we hear them differently, virtuosi. Punch Bros is a quintet (also starring the fiddle virtuoso Gabe Witcher) and they play a semi-formal, semi-improvised music that owes almost as much to the classical string quartet as it does to the bluegrass tradition. Americana Posh, you might call it. I call it remarkable.

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