Released: Jan 2008
For as virtuosic as Nickel Creek could be, the band's mandolin player and singer, Chris Thile, is stylistically unshackled with the Punch Brothers, a group made up of some of the best young progressive pickers around. The through-composed, mostly improvised three-song suite, "The Blind Leaving the Blind," is the centerpiece. A heartbreaking take on self-destructive love, the tracks ramble between delicate songwriter fare, 20th century atonality, jazz and bluegrass; and it's all recorded live. It requires full attention and some big ears, but those who take the time will be well rewarded.