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REVIEW: The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile @ McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR – 3/16/11)

19th Mar 11 (Sat) Leave a comment

I hadn’t heard the Punch Brothers prior to the show, outside of a few clips on their webpage… but what I did hear, I knew I’d love it.  I have also been a fan of frontman Chris Thile’s mandolin work with Nickel Creek; so I knew what to expect from at least his performance.

The show started with a delightful set from local fiddler prodigy Tatiana Hargreaves (backed by Scott Law on guitar).  I had seen Tatiana play (with her brother Alex) during Works Progress Administration’s show at the WOW Hall in 2009 – which is a side project from Glen Phillips and Sean & Sara Watkins (from Nickel Creek as well)… so her opening for the Punch Brothers made perfect sense.  Her set was a great warm up for what was to come (sorry, no photos came out of Tatiana & Scott, my camera was acting up).

The Punch Brothers went on shortly after Tatiana’s set.  No flashy stage set-up or lights, just five guys and their instruments.  The Punch Brothers are Chris Thile on mandolin & vocals, Gabe Witcher on fiddle/violin, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Chris Eldridge on guitar, and Paul Kowert on bass.  They played a hour and a half or more with a great split between rollicking bluegrass vocal numbers and more stretched out instrumental pieces.

The overall musicianship in the entire group was evident early on.  They were a quite tight five piece string band, and the lack of drums was barely noticeable – their use of rhythm duties amongst the strings was more than enough to keep the jammy, progressive instrumental movements rolling along.  Since I don’t know their material all that well, I can’t really help out on the setlist front.  I know they played “Rye Whiskey,” the Beatles “Paperback Writer,” a stunning mandolin-centric version of Radiohead “Paranoid Android,” and Chris Thile did a riveting Bach piece on solo mandolin. Also, per Serena from the Register Guard, they covered the Strokes and Josh Ritter as well.

Fantastic show, and I shall get to know their music before they swing through again.  Their latest CD is 2010’s Antifogmatic (pictured to the right).

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… probably Lawn Gnomes & Upstate Trio @ Cornucopia (3/25) or Pojama People (an Oregon Frank Zappa cover band) @ Sam Bond’s Garage (3/26).

~Dan – np: David BazanFewer Moving Pieces

THE PUNCH BROTHERS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Medeski Martin & Wood – 20 Download

8th Mar 11 (Tue) 3 comments

Medeski Martin & Wood have been around for 20 years.  And to celebrate, they’re digitally releasing two new, never-released tracks each month (starting March 29th), for a total of 20 tracks by the end of the year.

You can pre-order the entire package now for only $9.90… right HERE.  If you wait until after March 29th, the price per download is $0.99.  So, act now, and get the new tracks for essentially half price.

With the pre-order, you will be alerted by email when the monthly 2 tracks become downloadable!  The first two tracks will become available for download March 29th, 2011. See below for the release schedule for the remaining tracks:

4/26/11 – Tracks 3 & 4
5/31/11 – Tracks 5 & 6
6/28/11 – Tracks 7 & 8
7/26/11 – Tracks 9 & 10
8/30/11 – Tracks 11 & 12
9/27/11 – Tracks 13 & 14
10/25/11 – Tracks 15 & 16
11/29/11 – Tracks 17 & 18
12/20/11 – Tracks 19 & 20

If you happen to be in Oregon, specifically Portland, check John Medeski, Billy Martin & Chris Wood out TONIGHT at the Roseland Theater!

~Dan – np: Colin Stetson w/ My Brightest DiamondNew History Warfare – Judges, Vol. 2

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