Spoiler alert: The Punch Brothers came to the Tiny Desk on Chris Thile's birthday. We made him a cake and gave him an NPR surprise! This wasn't the first time the brilliant mandolinist had brought a project to my desk — it was his fourth. The last time was with his longtime band Nickel Creek, but also with his new braces. So the cake we presented here was inscribed "Brace Yourself Chris Happy Birthday." He blew out the candles and then, along with this versatile and talented band, rocked our world.
Punch Brothers mixes the worlds of bluegrass, pop and classical. It's a tough combination to imagine, an even harder one to make work, but this band of fiddler, Gabe Witcher, Noam Pikelny on banjo, guitarist Chris Eldridge and bassist Paul Kowert make the unimaginable contagious and fun. They push boundaries and make music like no one else.
• "My Oh My" 2:04
• "Boll Weevil" 6:23
• "Magnet" 10:36
• "Julep" 14:45
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Nick Michael, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Carlos Waters; photo by Carlos Waters/NPR