Punch Brothers

Punch Brothers

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Punch Brothers

Punch Brothers is a band consisting of Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Kowert (bass). Their style has been described as "bluegrass instrumentation and spontaneity in the structures of modern classical"[1] as well as "American country-classical chamber music."[2]


2006-2007: Beginnings and Grow

Main article: How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

Thile formed the band in 2006 to record the album How to Grow a Woman from the Ground. In an interview with the Nashville City Paper, Thile described the formation of the band:

Initially the band was known as The How to Grow a Band. In 2007, the band officially changed its name first to The Tensions Mountain Boys and then settled on Punch Brothers. The band's name comes from the critical line of an earworm jingle that is the centerpiece of Mark Twain's short story "A Literary Nightmare".[3] The chorus of the jingle consists of two lines, "Punch, brother, punch with care, punch in the presence of the passenjare", that are said to be the mantra of railroad conductors.

What they formed was a type of group that American Songwriter magazine calls "A 21st century version of the Bluegrass Boys."[4]

2007-2009: "The Blind Leaving the Blind" and Punch

Main article: Punch (album)

On March 17, 2007, this group debuted Chris Thile's most ambitious work to date at Carnegie Hall: "The Blind Leaving the Blind", a forty minute suite in four movements. Thile says the piece was written in part to deal with his divorce of 2003.

On February 13, 2008, the band set off on their first countrywide tour as Punch Brothers.

On February 26, 2008, Punch Brothers released the album, Punch, on Nonesuch Records. The album features Thile's suite "The Blind Leaving the Blind", as well as other original songs.[5]

In March 2008, when Chris Thile was asked in an interview if there would be another album by Punch Brothers, Thile said that "there will definitely be another album."[6]

On November 8, 2008, the band announced on their website that they parted ways with bass player Greg Garrison. Paul Kowert, who studied under Edgar Meyer at the Curtis Institute of Music, took Garrison's place on the bass.[7]

2010: Antifogmatic

Main article: Antifogmatic (album)

Antifogmatic, the second album by Punch Brothers, was released on June 15, 2010 and features both traditional bluegrass and newgrass styles on the ten-track listing. Though bassist Kowert toured extensively with the band in support of Punch over the last two years, Antifogmatic is the first Punch Brothers album on which he appears.

2011: Documentary How to Grow A Band

The band is also the focus of the documentary "How to Grow A Band" directed by Mark Meatto. It was filmed over a two-year period and, according to the website, "explores the tensions between individual talents and group identity, art and commerce, youth and wisdom." The film premiered at the 42nd Nashville Film Festival in Nashville, Tennessee on April 15, 2011. The film also screened as part of the 38th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2011.

2012: Who's Feeling Young Now?

The band released its third album, Who's Feeling Young Now?, in February 2012. Shortly afterwards, they contributed the song 'Dark Days' to the soundtrack for 2012 blockbuster The Hunger Games. In November of 2012 they released Ahoy!, the 5-track EP companion to Who's Feeling Young Now?

Band members

Current members

  • Chris Thile - Mandolin, Vocals
  • Gabe Witcher - Fiddle, Vocals
  • Noam Pikelny - Banjo, Vocals
  • Chris Eldridge - Guitar, Vocals
  • Paul Kowert - Bass, Vocals

Former members

  • Bryan Sutton - Guitar, Vocals (2006-2007)
  • Greg Garrison - Bass, Vocals (2006-2008)



Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Grass US US Heat US Rock US Folk
Punch 1 10
Antifogmatic 2 128 1 39 2
Who's Feeling Young Now? 1 76 19 5
Ahoy! EP 1 144 42 7
"" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
2013 "Movement and Location"[8] Danny Clinch


  1. Paphides, Pete, Chris Thile and his mandolin, The Times, January 25, 2008. URL accessed on May 22, 2010.
  2. Holden, Stephen, Covers and Classical Moves From a Bluegrass Virtuoso, The New York Times, February 22, 2008.
  3. Punch Brothers: Punch. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2010-04-23.
  4. Punch Brothers: American Pickers. American Songwriter. Retrieved on 31 May 2012.
  5. Nonesuch Records Signs Singer/Composer/Mandolinist Chris Thile and His New Band, Punch Brothers. All About Jazz (2007-10-09). Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
  6. "Now out of the Creek, Thile's packing Punch". Boston Globe. April 5, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  7. "Punch Brothers Add a New Bass Player ". November 8, 2008.
  8. CMT : Videos : Punch Brothers : Movement and Location. Country Music Television. Retrieved on January 25, 2013.

External links

  • Official Website
  • Punch Brothers on Twitter
  • Punch Brothers on Facebook
  • Punch Brothers on YouTube
  • Punch Brothers at MySpace
  • Unofficial Fansite
  • Official Movie Website
  • Bluegrass Modernists Punch Their Own Ticket, Jim Fusilli, The Wall Street Journal, 21 June 2010
This page was last modified 19.04.2014 18:53:54

This article uses material from the article Punch Brothers from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.