Punch Brothers Should be a Knockout Show

Most of you haven’t heard of Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers. You have, however, heard of Thile’s former band, Nickel Creek.

It’s the Punch Brothers who are coming to the Cascade Theatre this time around and (this is just my hunch, but) I bet Thile would tell you he’s even more excited about this current collection of virtuoso pals than any other outfit he’s bounced around the country with.


Chris Thile’s new band has plenty of, well, you know…

Here’s some reasons this show intrigues me:

• Thile has been a master on the mandolin since he was a teenager and the music he and his current band are composing is highly nuanced and creative while still being rooted in bluegrass/folk.

• This entire band of young players (Chris Eldridge, guitar; Paul Kowert, bass; Noam Pikelny, banjo; Gabe Witcher, fiddle) are just at such a high level with their instruments. You’re going to hear some incredible picking, but I also like the sounds and notes these guys are using to orchestrate tunes. When young, creative, talented players come together, sometimes the results are spectacular. (Sometimes that formula can fall flat as well. It’s the problem I sometimes have with young virtuoso Americana bands — the world doesn’t owe you anything just because you can play 50,000 notes, you still have to say something that connects with people.)

• I really like Thile’s voice.

• Thile composed a 40-minute, four-movement suite called “Blind Leaving the Blind,” and in newgrass/bluegrass music, I’d call that a pretty obsessed, passionate artistic endeavor.

So although I’m just recently entering the ring with the Punch Brothers, I like what I hear thus far.

I recently missed a show by Joy Kills Sorrow, a Oaksong Society concert at Bernie’s Guitar, and everyone said it was an incredible concert. Miss this show by the Punch Brothers and you’ll likely hear from people what a great evening you missed.

There are still plenty of good seats left at the Cascade.

Here’s a little clip of the Punch Brothers doing their thing:

Jim Dyar

is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com