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Punch Brothers at the peak of their powers

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Friday July 13, 2018

From The Maine Edge

Punch Brothers at the peak of their powers on ‘All Ashore’
By: Mike Dow

For a dozen years, Punch Brothers have been delivering a singular brand of progressive-bluegrass-Americana beyond compare, both on record and in concert. Musical virtuosos, Punch Brothers infuse elements of classical music into their sound, much like they’ve been known to do with blues, jazz, rock, folk and world music. They do it not to show off but to serve the song.

The band’s first self-produced effort, “All Ashore” is a band-composed affair, written and recorded in sequence. “In doing so, we were really able to construct the narrative, musically and lyrically,” according to violinist Gabe Witcher.

[…] This may seem like an unusual observation but the first thing I took note of when listening to “All Ashore” was the presence of glorious analog tape hiss. Few artists record on old-school analog tape these days, usually because recording digitally is considerably cheaper and faster. That Punch Brothers are still buying very expensive reels of tape tells me they care deeply about sound quality. Digital recording has come a long way since the sterile sound of the 1980s, but it still can’t compare with overall tone afforded by recording in analog. Your mileage may vary.

The sound of “All Ashore” is rich, warm, dry and woodsy. It’s akin to what it might sound like to hear the band perform the album in your living room.

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