Album: Punch Brothers, Punch, (Nonesuch)

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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.