Punch Brothers perform in The Current's studio

Punch brothers perform the song "Jumbo" from their new album, "All Ashore," live in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Punch Brothers perform in The Current's studio (music + interview)
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  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current's studio (music + interview) 24:34
  • Punch Brothers - Jumbo (Live at The Current) 03:34
  • Punch Brothers - Three Dots And A Dash (Live at The Current) 04:32
  • Punch Brothers - Just Look At This Mess (Live at The Current) 05:15

Punch Brothers' name may refer to conductors and train fares (see: the Twain short story A Literary Nightmare). But how germane that they're tiki drink aficionados. Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals) tells The Current host Bill DeVille that the band's new album, All Ashore, was born of the conversations you might have over a second round of drinks at the bar. Their song "Three Dots And A Dash" takes its name from the iconic tiki drink, a post-World War II confection that means "V" or "Victory" in Morse code.

Punch Brothers played "Three Dots And A Dash" and two more All Ashore tunes during their latest stop into The Current's studio, the first since Thile took over Live From Here hosting duties from Garrison Keillor. He's had some time to explore Saint Paul and the rest of the Twin Cities metro, and Bill DeVille prompted him to share his favorite spots for coffee and drinks. Claddagh and Kopplin's take top honors for caffeine, and "many a Live From Here guest" has been bowled over by martinis at the Saint Paul Hotel.

Even though Thile has had a couple of big personal years, he and the band are as committed to each other as ever. In between bluegrass tunes, they talk about their shared history and the beauty of writing music together — aka "composition by misunderstanding."

Use the audio player above to listen to the full session, which features Punch Brothers' music and thoughts on the Palace Theatre, "Punch babies," and the likelihood of going electric.

Band Members

Chris Thile - mandolin, vocals, mandola, bouzouki
Gabe Witcher - fiddle, vocals, drums
Noam Pikelny - banjo, vocals, National steel-bodied guitar
Chris Eldridge - guitar, vocals
Paul Kowert - bass, vocals

Songs Performed

"Jumbo"
"Three Dots And A Dash"
"Just Look At This Mess"

All songs from Punch Brothers' 2018 album All Ashore, available via Nonesuch Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Cecilia Johnson

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10 Photos

  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Chris Thile of Punch Brothers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Noam Pikelny of Punch Brothers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Gabe Witcher of Punch Brothers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Chris Eldridge (center) of Punch Brothers performing in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Gabe Witcher and Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers performing in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Punch Brothers get ready to perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio
    Punch Brothers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Chris Thile portraits at The Current, 2018
    Chris Thile is host of American Public Media's "Live from Here" (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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