The album unfolds according to a fanciful and story-driven plan, as Lage explains: “We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process…. The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known asGladwell…. As a metaphor, Gladwellpresented us with a clear architecture, to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear.”
Sweeping, colorful and thrillingly executed, the album opens with “233 Butler,” named for the Brooklyn street address of vintage instrument shop, Musurgia. Here and throughout, Lage showcases his group’s highly developed rapport and varied, refreshing approach to orchestration, with originals pieces that bring to life the fictional sights and sounds of Gladwell: the train station (“Listening Walk”), the church (“Cocoon,” featuring Blake on melodica – channeling sounds that could be likened to the artsy streets of Paris), the bazaar (“Iowa Taken”). “Some songs specifically identify with particular parts of the town,” writes Lage, “while other pieces simply fit into the overall concept and musical direction. The intention of the music is to encourage the listener, at every turn, to take a step towards the unknown….”
As with Sounding Point, Gladwell reflects Lage’s wide-ranging musical interests and talents, ranging from chamber music, American folk and bluegrass to latin, world, string-band tradition and modern jazz. The album also exhibits contemporary singer-songwriter aesthetics. “Margaret” was inspired by Lage’s friend, singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy, with whom he has frequently shared the stage. “However,” written by Dan Blake, “explores the rich synthesis of Afro-pop with Irish fiddle music along with American folk music,” writes Lage.
Watch Julian and Chris perform together HERE.
As a member of Punch Brothers since the band’s inception, guitarist Chris Eldridge has been at the vanguard of acoustic music for much of the past decade. Although initially drawn to the electric guitar, by his mid-teens Chris Eldridge had developed a deep love for acoustic music, thanks in part to his father, a banjo player and founding member of the seminal bluegrass group The Seldom Scene. Eldridge later gained in-depth exposure to a variety of different musical styles while studying at Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a degree in music performance in 2004. During his time at Oberlin, Eldridge studied with legendary guitarist Tony Rice. After graduating he joined the Seldom Scene with whom he received a Grammy nomination in 2007. In 2005 he founded the critically acclaimed bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters. At the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association awards Eldridge and his Stringdusters bandmates won Emerging artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year for their debut album, Fork in the Road. Meanwhile, in 2005 he had caught the attention of mandolinist Chris Thile, who enlisted him, along with banjoist Noam Pikelny, violinist Gabe Witcher, and bassist Greg Garrison to start working on an ambitious side project. Soon after they decided to focus all of their collective energies into band and Punch Brothers was born. The band has since released 3 critically acclaimed albums, received 2 Grammy nominations and toured around the world.
Chris Eldridge has worked with a diverse cast of musical luminaries including Jon Brion, Fiona Apple, Paul Simon, John Paul Jones, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Jerry Douglas, Sara Watkins, Del McCoury and others.
Showtimes: 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Admission: $22.