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Punch Brothers for Mareel

Punch Brothers are to take time out of their busy schedle for a date at Mareel in August. Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

ONE OF America’s most in-demand roots groups, Punch Brothers, are to visit Shetland for a special one-off show this summer.

The acclaimed group have agreed to squeeze in a gig at Mareel on Monday 3 August, the night after featuring prominently on the bill at Cambridge Folk Festival. 

Tickets for the all-seated show, with support from singer-songwriter Kris Drever, are due to go on sale at Shetland Box Office this weekend.

Formed by revered mandolin player and singer Chris Thile in 2006, Punch Brothers this year released their fourth full album, ‘The Phosphorescent Blues’, and played a sellout show at Glasgow Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections in January.

Q Magazine has praised the group for “astonishing, envelope-pushing vision” which combines elements of the five-piece band’s many musical interests, including indie rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass and classical.

The band’s 2010 album ‘Antifogmatic’ was Grammy-nominated, while Rolling Stone magazine praised 2012 follow-up ‘Who’s Feeling Young Now?’ for its dazzling acoustic framework and “wild virtuosity used for more than just wild virtuosity”.

The legendary T Bone Burnett produced ‘The Phosphorescent Blues’. Punch Brothers had previously worked with the multiple Grammy-winning producer on numerous occasions, including on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and its related concert film ‘Another Day, Another Time’.

Alongside Thile on mandolin and vocals, the band line-up features guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert (who played last year’s Shetland Folk Festival with Brittany Haas), banjo player Noam Pikelny and fiddler Gabe Witcher.

In the past decade Punch Brothers have garnered huge critical acclaim, with The Times lauding them as “brilliant, audacious, original and, above all, entertaining” with a show that pushes “the boundaries of excellence in contemporary music performance in virtually all directions”.

Neil Riddell of Ragged Wood, which is promoting the show, said: “We’re absolutely stoked to be able to bring such a high calibre, in demand group to Shetland. They are truly brilliant musicians and it will be a wonderful chance to see them in such an intimate environment.”

He paid special thanks to four local firms – Scalloway Hotel, Artmachine, Arch Henderson LLP and NB Communication – for generously agreeing to contribute sponsorship towards the event, along with Michael Williamson – who is providing financial backing to Ragged Wood – and Lynda Anderson at Shetland Arts for all her help.

  • Tickets to see Punch Brothers in concert at Mareel on Monday 3 August, priced £26, go on sale from Shetland Box Office at 10am on Saturday 25 April.