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Monday November 19, 2018

From Building Our Own Nashville

Punch Brothers – EFG London Jazz Festival — Live Review
By: Hannah Jessica

Three standing ovations. Two hours of magic. One microphone.

The Punch Brothers, darlings of the bluegrass cognoscenti, brought their brand of highly distinctive avant-garde bluegrass to London’s Barbican centre.

The Punch Brothers are mandolinist and lead vocalist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. All combine to create gorgeous string and vocal harmonies. Inevitably the spotlight falls on the group’s founder and leader Chris Thile, mandolin virtuoso and expressive vocalist. The Punch Brothers are masters of their craft. Whether delicate mandolin playing, complex key and rhythm changes, foot-stomping bluegrass or storytelling, this group is the Steely Dan of the bluegrass world, with technical perfection and sophistication.

The Punch Brothers gave it all. From the powerful “My Oh My,” to the foot stomping “New York City,” the storming “Magnet,” the beautiful “Julep,” and Josh Ritter cover “Another New World,” the symphony of “All Ashore” and the utterly brilliant unamplified encore of “Familiarity.”

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