Punch Brothers are the acoustic quintet of mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. Says the Washington Post, “With enthusiasm and experimentation, Punch Brothers take bluegrass to its next evolutionary stage, drawing equal inspiration from the brain and the heart.” Their latest album, the T Bone Burnett-produced The Phosphorescent Blues (released in 2015 on Nonesuch Records), addresses the power and the pitfalls of our super-connected world with straight-up poignancy and subversive humor.
Punch Brothers formed in 2006. Its first Nonesuch record, Punch, was released in 2008 and combined elements of the band’s many musical interests. In 2009, they began a residency at NYC’s intimate club, The Living Room, trying out new songs and ultimately spawning the Grammy-nominated Antifogmatic (2010). In 2012, the band released Who’s Feeling Young Now?, which Q praised for its ‘astonishing, envelope-pushing vision’, while Rolling Stone said, ‘The acoustic framework dazzles – wild virtuosity used for more than just virtuosity.’
Recently, Chris Thile took over hosting duties of Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) in 2016 and released Thanks for Listening in late 2017 – a collection of songs written for Chris’ popular radio show. Chris Eldridge partnered with Julian Lage for the Grammy-nominated Mount Royal and Noam released his fourth solo album, the Grammy-nominated Universal Favorite. Both Mount Royal and Universal Favorite were produced by Gabe Witcher, who was also behind Sara Watkins’ latest, Young In All The Wrong Ways. Paul Kowert has been recording and touring with the Dave Rawlings Machine while developing his latest project Hawktail, Paul’s band with Jordan Tice, Brittney Haas and Dominick Leslie.
Madison Cunningham, possesses a keen understanding of songcraft that is perplexing for someone who’s just twenty years old. With an ear for melody that is reminiscent of early Joni Mitchell and approach to guitar and vocals that isn’t far off from long past heroes of Jeff Buckley or Nick Drake, Madison exhibits a unique ability to keep the listener on the edge as they explore her debut EP, Love, Lose, Remember. The oldest of five daughters, Madison picked up a guitar at the age of seven and was singing with her sisters and family in church by the age of 12. It was a happenstance meeting with producer Tyler Chester (Blake Mills, Sara Watkins) four years ago that helped Madison start to develop her approach as a songwriter. Released in early 2017, Love, Lose, Remember, showcases Madison’s ability as a songwriter and arranger with the lyrical content of someone who has lived twice the life of this young artist.