Punch Brothers © KLRU by Scott Newton

Punch Brothers

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Punch Brothers Season 38 by Dirk Fowler

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photo by Leslie Nichols

The genre-busting Punch Brothers are crafting their own musical territory with their boundary-less mix of indie rock, bluegrass, classical music, jazz, folk and pop. The band performs their diverse sound on the Austin City Limits stage tonight in support of their latest album, Who’s Feeling Young Now?

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile assembled an all-star cast of musicians to back him on the 2006 solo album How to Grow a Woman From the Ground. Thile stated, I didn’t know if it would be a rock ensemble, an ambitious acoustic classical thing or a bluegrass group. We played, and there was a serious, instantaneous connection.” Shortly after, the quintet – guitar player Chirs Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, fiddle player Gabe Witcher and Thile – decided to make the group permanent and adapted their new name from the Mark Twain short story “Punch, Brothers, Punch!”

2008′s Punch and 2010′s Antifogmatic earned the band tremendous praise for their ability to take traditional instrumentation in a new direction. Their latest album, Who’s Feeling It Now?, was released in mid-February 2012 and has been received with favorable reviews by critics. Paste calls the album “a masterpiece” and declared that “every track is a small wonder of some sort,” while Rolling Stone claims it “strikes a nice balance between old-school and modern.”

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