After four albums -- three under its own name, one as a solo albums for mandolinist Chris Thile -- the Punch Brothers band has "grown into its own skin," according to guitarist Chris Eldridge.
"I think our music has gotten a little bit less esoteric and heady over the years," Eldridge, 29, says of the bluegrass quintet, which released the album "Who's Feeling Young Now?" in February and also contributed the song "Dark Days" to the soundtrack for "The Hunger Games." "It's kind of really evolved into its own thing.
"At first we were a band functioning from a concept, and I think these days the way our music is kind of developing the playing is a lot more natural and a lot more the product of the five of us as opposed to Thile's engine."
Thile, who's also part of Nickel Creek, says he still "leads the charge in terms of coming up with new material" for the Punch Brothers. But he, too, feels like the new album is "more direct" and sounds like "the five of us together, packing a little bit more of a wallop." And for that he credits producer Jacquire King, who's previously worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits and Norah Jones.
"He came in, and instantly he saw some problems with the group," recalls Thile, 31. "He's got big ears and he spotted some issues right away and changed the entire way we make music. I feel like the boys are really spreading their wings now. That's a pretty fun thing."
The Punch Brothers and Lera Lynn perform Monday, June 4, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $20. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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