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Music review: Punch Brothers

Music review: Punch Brothers

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Punch Brothers. All Ashore. Nonesuch. ★★★

Of all the varieties of country, folk and blues gathered under the catch-all of Americana, Punch Brothers are surely among the strangest.

Mandolin player Chris Thile's vision is of something like country chamber music. Their debut featured a four-part, 40-minute suite. Thile calls this concept album "a meditation on committed relationships in the present political climate".

Several of its songs are as opaque as that description. "I cheat like the daisies in the field," he confesses on Just Look at This Mess. His delicate vocals and allusive imagery shine more brightly on The Gardener and Jumbo - the latter clearly about Trump - while there's no shortage of dazzling playing from a group that have the intuition of a jazz combo.

- Neil Spencer/Guardian News and Media

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