Howdy Folks!Thile here. The boys and I are very, very happy to announce that our fourth record, The Phosphorescent Blues, is DONE and will be released this coming January 27th by Nonesuch Records. We began the writing process at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June of 2012, and finished it—lemme think about this—well, right before Gabe, T Bone, and Mikey went to master it with the good folks at Lurssen (which I was surprised to learn is NOT Swedish for “listen”), I guess…hell, we were putting finishing touches on the finishing touches right up until they cut the vinyl!
3. Passepied (Debussy)
4. I Blew It Off
6. My Oh My
7. Boll Weevil
8. Prélude (Scriabin)
10. Between 1st and A
11. Little Lights
12. Sleek White Baby
14. The Hops of Guldenberg
15. The Wireless
We love it when the actual “meaning” of a given piece of music ends up being a collaboration between the musician(s) responsible for it and his/her/their listeners, so I won’t say much about what this record is about to us other than the fact that the five of us have been thinking a lot about the importance of connection, particularly in a world where it’s pretty easy to take being connected for granted.I’ll say a little more about our producer, T Bone Burnett, however. We were overjoyed when he agreed to produce The Phosphorescent Blues, and have benefited MIGHTILY from his steady guidance and support throughout. There were times when it was only he who didn’t despair over what seemed to us the inevitability of some beloved tune or other just not making it onto [2 inch, 24 track] tape the way we hoped, and he invariably pulled us (and whichever tune) through, deftly and patiently, with a sage word of advice, a hilarious anecdote, and/or some Palo Santo. THANK YOU, T BONE!!! The incomparable Mike Piersante and his magical pair of ears engineered and mixed the project. He exhibited an uncanny ability to get inside of our heads, hear through our incoherent stream of “it should sound like [insert completely unhelpful babbling here]” and create soundscapes that either realized or transcended our lofty goals.
Drums, drums, in the deep! Enter Jay Bellerose (what a musician), on five of the record's 11 tracks. From the first thump to the last, he was a sixth Punch Brother, not adding percussion so much as rescuing songs that were CRYING out for him.
So there’s my pitch. If you’re interested, you can pre-order the album now, on iTunes, CD, or preferably (because it’s so much radder, and because there was an empty side that we decided to fill with four extra songs) on 180g double vinyl. We’ll even provide refreshments in the form of delicious looking clothing. Heaven’s a julep on a shirt, after all.
Speaking of which, "Julep" is now hearable below, along with “I Blew It Off.” Similar tonalities, drastically different personalities! Frankly though, I can’t wait for y’all to hear the whole kit and caboodle in sequence…we feel like that’s how this batch of music works best. Patience, Thile, patience!
One last bit of loosely-related information while I’ve got you: I’ll be guest-hosting A Prairie Home Companion on February 7th and 14th (I can’t even begin to express to you how psyched I am to do this, so I’m not gonna try), with Punch Brothers as a musical guest on the 7th. For those in St. Paul, tickets are on sale now to attend the shows in person.
On the touring front, we're excited to announce that Gaby Moreno will be opening for us on the first leg of the North American tour (minus Nashville, Chicago, and Minneapolis - still hammering out the details on those). That leg also now includes a second night at 9:30 Club in DC on February 21st. Second leg (minus Tahoe) opening duties will be performed by our good pal, Gabriel Kahane. We have all the dates and appropriate support listed on the tour page for easier reading.
OK, off to the first full rehearsal for the aforementioned tour!