Johann Sebastian Thile

I gave Tyler two tickets to the sold out Punch Brothers show at Mercy Lounge here in Nashville for Valentine’s Day. Speaking for the two of us, we LOVE bluegrass music, and progressive bluegrass even more so. It’s therefore no surprise that we can’t get enough of Thile and company.

Chris Thile became a household name (in folk and bluegrass loving households, anyway) as the mandolinist of Nickel Creek. A few years ago though, the young trio took an indefinite hiatus to focus on other projects. Now, as much as I looooved Nickel Creek, Chris Thile’s new(-ish) endeavor, a bluegrass(-ish) quintet called Punch Brothers, is one incredible listen… and their live show is even better.

Tuesday night was my fourth time seeing the band, and they never cease to amaze. Their most recent album (released June 2010) is called Antifogmatic, which Thile’s explains as “an old term for a bracing beverage, generally rum or whiskey, that a person would have before going out to work in rough weather to stave off any ill effects. This batch of tunes,” he claims, “could be used in much the same way, and includes some characters who would probably benefit mightily, if temporarily, from a good antifogmatic.” Yeah, pretty awesome.

Punch Brothers played of everything from The Strokes’ “Heart in a Cage” to The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer,” not to mention a string of their own works, both old and new. Below is Thile playing JS Bach’s “Sonata #1 in G Minor” in double time. Yes, double time.

1 of 2 songs in the encore, Mercy Lounge, February 15, 2011. Blow your mind.

P.S. If you’re interested in my official review of the show, the piece can be found on my portfolio.


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