Punch Brothers – Ahoy!
2013 – Nonesuch Records
This EP has some really great stuff packed into its short run time. Although only one song on here is an original from the band, they have a way of making covers sound like their own songs. A great example here is “Moonshiner” which has been done by Bob Dylan, Eliott Smith, Cat Power, and tons of others. The Punch Brothers effort sounds nothing like these versions, but still retains the traditional elements of the tune. The mix of straight bluegrass with darker harmonies and virtuosic playing is present on this EP, all adding up to a supremely fun album to listen to. There is a breakdown/solo instrumental section in “Icarus Smicarus” that needs to be heard to believed. I’ve seen this band many times live and they always put on a great show. All the members are always busy with side projects that it is hard to fathom how they can make such great music on a consistent basis with this band. Their ability to take traditional tunes and re-orchestrate them to sound fresh and interesting is amazing. Definitely a band that is worth checking out!