The Bowery Presents
"Another Day, Another Time" - Celebrating the music of Inside Llewyn Davis

Presented by T Bone Burnett / Joel & Ethan Coen

"Another Day, Another Time" - Celebrating the music of Inside Llewyn Davis

The Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens, Lake Street Dive, Colin Meloy, The Milk Carton Kids, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Punch Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Secret Sisters, Patti Smith, Willie Watson, Gillian Welch, Jack White, and from the cast of Inside Llewyn Davis: Oscar Isaacs, John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, Stark Sands

Sun, September 29, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Town Hall

New York, NY

$100, $75, $50

Sold Out

This event is all ages

"Another Day, Another Time" - Celebrating the music of Inside Llewyn Davis
"Another Day, Another Time" - Celebrating the music of Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen, T Bone Burnett, and Scott Rudin announced today a benefit concert entitled ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER TIME: CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF “INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS,” which will take place at The Town Hall in New York City on Sunday, September 29, 2013. The concert is inspired by music from the upcoming Coen Brothers’ film, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, which is set in the 1960’s Greenwich Village folk music scene. A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the National Recording Preservation Foundation.

Produced by the film’s writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen and its executive music producer T Bone Burnett, the star-studded concert reunites the trio behind O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the highly successful concert events launched in conjunction with that film. ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER TIME: CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF “INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS” will feature live performances of the film’s music, as well as songs from the early 1960s that inspired the film. Artists performing at the concert include The Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lake Street Dive, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, The Milk Carton Kids, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Punch Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Secret Sisters, Patti Smith, Gillian Welch, Willie Watson, and Jack White. Stars of the film will also perform at the event, including Oscar Isaac (who plays the title role in the film), Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Stark Sands.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, written and directed by Academy Award® winners Joel and Ethan Coen and based on their original screenplay, was produced by Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS recently won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, and will also screen at this year’s New York Film Festival. The film, which will be distributed by CBS Films in the U.S., begins its theatrical run on December 6.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles—some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the baskethouses of the Village to an empty Chicago club — on an odyssey to audition for a music mogul — and back again.

Brimming with music performed by Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan (as Llewyn’s married Village friends), as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS — in the tradition of O Brother, Where Art Thou? — is infused with the transportive sound of another time and place. An epic on an intimate scale, it represents the Coen Brothers’ fourth collaboration with multiple-Grammy and Academy Award®-winning music producer T Bone Burnett. Marcus Mumford is associate music producer.

Nonesuch Records releases the soundtrack to INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. Produced by T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, with Marcus Mumford as its associate producer, the album features 12 new recordings created especially for the film and soundtrack. Also included is a never-before-released recording of Bob Dylan performing his song “Farewell,” which was originally recorded during the sessions for his album The Times They Are A-Changin', and is available exclusively on this soundtrack.
The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers
Life’s rich ephemerality. That’s what Magpie and the Dandelion is about. The things in life we can never repeat. People we will never see again. Relationships that run their course. Words that will never be spoken or sung in exactly the same way. That moment in a concert we experience only one time. Once. Then it’s over. Gone. Poof.
When the Avett Brothers went into the studio in early 2011 to begin recording their sprawling song cycle of the following year,The Carpenter, they actually brought in enough material for two albums. It was a heady, exciting session, ideas bouncing everywhere, new experiments attempted, used, discarded. But not everything fit neatly into The Carpenter’s grand narrative about love and life, aging and mortality. So the Brothers put the extra songs on a shelf and hit the road to perform for their fans.

It was a tough tour. In September, bassist Bob Crawford took a leave of absence after his baby daughter, Hallie, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The next two years would continue to be challenging. Scott and Seth Avett’s beloved aunt, Alice Haas, would die from cancer, and Seth’s marriage would fall apart. The universal and remarkably mature truths the Brothers had explored on The Carpenter — in lyrics like, “If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die,” “You and I, we’re the same” and “We’re not of this earth for long”— had become very immediate and very personal. It so happens that the songs the Avetts had put on a shelf reflected that sense of urgency. “To me, The Carpenter was a more unified take on big themes — aging, death, mortality — whereas I feel like Magpie and The Dandelion is more in the moment, a little more electric, a little more kinetic,” Seth Avett says from the band’s hometown of Concord, North Carolina. “It feels more like a comment on things that are happening right now.”

To Bob Crawford, Magpie is messier than The Carpenter — in all the best ways. “It’s like a string ran through The Carpenter, beginning with the title song and ending with ‘Life.’ It was heavy, very heavy,” Crawford says. By contrast, “The songs on Magpie kind of bark and shout. It’s much starker. It’s more destructive. It’s harsher,” he adds. “They’re part of the same string, but they speak louder.”

In fact, they scream and squawk, much like the magpie of the album’s title. Beginning with “Open Ended Life,” performed in the raw, country-rock tradition the Avetts have long mined — guitars, banjos, harmonica, piano and bright, breezy harmonies — Magpie and the Dandelion flutters hither and thither from spare, acoustic-based meditations (“Morning Song,” “Bring Your Love to Me,” “Part from Me”) to melodic pop- punk (“Another Is Waiting”). There’s a piano ballad (“Good To You”), arena-ready power rock complete with a minor-key melody befitting a James Bond flick (“Vanity”), and even a sublime moment captured live in concert (“Souls Like the Wheels,” a gentle, bluesy ballad from the band’s 2008 album The Second Gleam).

“‘Souls Like the Wheels’ is very fragile, very tender. I’ve only sung it one time and that recording is the only time it was ever played live,” Seth says. “We put it on there partially as a nod to older Neil Young or Simon & Garfunkel records, where they’d put one live track in the midst of a bunch of studio tracks. I think it just adds a spontaneous element to an otherwise labored-over piece of work — one little place where it feels like at any moment the whole thing could just fall apart. And that’s nice. It’s another opportunity to have more variety and dynamics on a record.”

In their 13 years of performing and touring, from small clubs in their native Southeast to big arenas around the world, the Avett Brothers have spent lots of time thinking about variety, dynamics and song placement. Early on, they just wanted to create the right mood and arc for frenetic shows full of ringing acoustic guitars and banjos, chirpy vocal harmonies, lots of hooting, hollering, hand-clapping and foot-stomping. When the Avetts took that explosive sound into recording studios, they
initially sought to recreate the energy of their shows. Their earliest full-length studio albums for the Concord indie label Ramseur — Country Was (2002), A Carolina Jubilee (2003) and Mignonette (2004) — were fine documents of specific moments in time, but it wasn’t until the Avetts recorded Emotionalism, in 2007, that they began thinking more in the tradition of great LPs from rock’s golden age — albums like The Band’s 1968 milestone Music from Big Pink or Neil Young’s 1972 classic Harvest. The Avett Brothers’ subsequent releases — I and Love and You, in 2009, last year’s The Carpenter, and now Magpie and the Dandelion, all produced by Rick Rubin and released on American Recordings — have thrust the Brothers into the pantheon of quintessential American bands. When the Avetts think of variety, dynamics and song placement today, the results are more novelistic. Today, the their narrative folk-rock tells bigger stories about what it means to be Southern, to be American, to be alive.

Some of those stories on Magpie center on the band members themselves. In “Vanity,” they cop to being fully human, full of self-obsession but longing to be more spiritually centered. It’s a song they couldn’t have written in their younger years, says Crawford. “How much experience does it take for us to realize how vain we are?” he asks. “Almost everything we do in this life serves our vanity. We can’t avoid it — we’re vain creatures. But being conscious of vanity is something you don’t see when you’re young.”

“Skin and Bones” is a variation on the same theme, characterizing the band as a beast that’s grown out of control. “It’s quick to drag you in but hard to shake,” Scott Avett sings. “It gives but doesn't match how much it takes. / Growing stronger and loud, I lived it but now I'm wanting out.” And then later, he asks, “How long can you live in shame, drop a life-long curse on your last name? Trouble is, I'm used to it.”
“Man, that song represents our entire career,” says Crawford. “There we were, in 2001 and 2002, driving around in a pickup truck, talking about songwriting, discussing how songs are crafted. We’re working to make this our lives, where we get the right music and go out and travel around and play it live for people. Now, fast-forward 12 years later: We have families, we have responsibilities to these families — in my case, I have a special-needs daughter who has a terrible disease, and a son; Scott has two children; Seth’s been through a divorce. Now, we’re on this other journey. But we also have this monster that we’ve created and that now owns us. We’re in this amazing position with this beast right now — and we realize it won’t last forever — but we also have these greater responsibilities, these more intimate responsibilities.”

One of those responsibilities is to see their success for what it is, and to speak out about the illusory trappings of celebrity. They do that on Magpie’s first single, “Another Is Waiting,” in which Seth warns young girls that popular culture does not mirror reality. “It's a fake, it's a hoax, it’s a nowhere road where no one goes ... She’s a rose, she’s a queen, but she’s staring at a magazine / In the dark, on the path, where they doctor every photograph.” Says Seth: “That song is a strike against the big glamor monster — the whole body-image epidemic that we’re so aware of right now. Young girls — anybody, really, but young girls, specifically — are at great risk of being conned into thinking they’re supposed to be something that is 1) not them, and 2) not reality.”

For the Avett Brothers, reality consists of close friends and family, and in keeping with the theme of ephemerality, one moment on Magpie documents something that truly is gone forever. It comes at the end of “Morning Song,” after Scott Avett sings the line, “Even though I know there’s hope in every morning song, you have to find that melody alone.” The line is followed by a chorus of voices, repeating, “You have to find that melody alone.”

“That chorus is made up of a group of friends and family members that can never assemble again,” Seth explains. “Our aunt Alice was one of the singers, and she just passed a few months ago. Hearing that song now, it’s just never been more clear how fleeting and how short life is. There’s some beauty in that and some pain in it, but it’s a powerful moment for us. When I listen to it now, itgives me all kinds of feelings. And because of that, it’s one of the highlights of the album for me.”

Perhaps the larger truth that Magpie achieves is showing that the Avett Brothers have grown far beyond their old pigeonhole of being those quaint, foot-stomping, banjo- picking Southern boys who sparked a back-to-basics trend in rock. “I think, genre-wise, we continue to give little attention to what’s said about us — you know, the banjos on the radio thing. At this point, that’s more of a humorous afterthought. The idea of there being a movement — if there is such a thing — I think we’re on the other side of that.”

It was a fleeting moment. Gone forever. Turn the page.
Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens
It was toward the end of the T Bone Burnett–curated September 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall—a celebration of the early ’60s folk revival that had inspired the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis—when singer Rhiannon Giddens indisputably stole the show. Performing Odetta’s “Water Boy” with, as the New York Times put it, “the fervor of a spiritual, the yips of a folk holler, and the sultry insinuation of the blues,” Giddens brought the star-studded audience to its feet. She was the talk of the lobby during intermission as those attendees unfamiliar with her Grammy Award–winning work as a member of African-American folk interpreters Carolina Chocolate Drops wondered who exactly Rhiannon Giddens was, with her elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit.

On her Nonesuch solo debut Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens and Burnett revisit “Water Boy,” its Odetta-arranged work-song rhythm serving as both provocation and a statement of power. Giddens delivers an equally thunderous rendition, one made all the more striking when placed between a gentle, ruminative interpretation of Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” and a version of Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You,” popularized by Patsy Cline, that Giddens imbues with “an old-timey R&B vibe,” abetted by Carolina Chocolate Drops band-mate Hubby Jenkins. The breadth of musical vision on Tomorrow Is My Turn fulfills the promise of that brief but stunning star turn at Town Hall. The album incorporates gospel, jazz, blues, and country, plus a hint of proto-rock and roll, and Giddens displays an emotional range to match her dazzling vocal prowess throughout.

The life that Giddens explores at the climax of Tomorrow Is My Turn is her own creative one, on the lilting, self-penned ballad “Angel City.” Though she regards herself far more as singer than songwriter, “Angel City,” composed in the course of a single night during the recording of the Burnett-helmed The New Basement Tapes project, fits perfectly at the close of the set, gently paying homage to the elder artists whose work comprise the rest of the album. “It was these women, these artists, who had helped me, who had come with me on this journey, and here are lyrics that represented that.”

Tomorrow Is My Turn was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players whom Burnett assembled. Among them are fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of label-mates Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown’s renowned Funk Brothers; inventive drummer and Burnett stalwart Jay Bellerose; veteran folk-blues guitarist Colin Linden; legendary backup singer Tata Vega; and Nashville session great, bassist Dennis Crouch. Giddens enthuses, “We had Dennis and Paul on stand-up bass at the same time on some of these tracks. They are all ‘musicians’ musicians’ and they did cool stuff they don’t always get the opportunity to play. It was a bit of a challenge for them too, all these different kinds of music; every day was something new. We’d start the day by watching the original inspiration for the song on YouTube, and then we would go cut it. They were a diverse group of people, but it felt like a real band.”

The songs here, says Giddens, “are all facets of the human condition.” Taken together, they answer the question Twyla Tharp posed at the beginning of Giddens’ solo adventure. Tomorrow Is My Turn is a composite portrait of “Ruby,” of America, and of Giddens herself, whose turn is clearly right now.
Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive find themselves on the cusp of stardom, though they insist they will always be the same people whose stage outfits once consisted of matching sweater vests. “We realize this could all go away tomorrow,” says Rachael Price. “But that won’t change what we do. We want to continue to do this for a long, long time. This is what we love. We just want to make sure we keep enjoying ourselves.”

Lake Street Dive have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The band was hand picked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson and named after an actual neighborhood of seedy bars in his hometown. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, Tennessee, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney was an Iowa native, while drummer Mike Calabrese called Philadelphia home. “I wasn’t only impressed with their musicianship,” says Olson, who acquired the nickname “McDuck” while at the conservatory for his reclusive ways. “They were also a lot of fun just to hang out with. The first four years of rehearsals were more like glorified dinner parties.”

Lake Street Dive has come a long way, but this just could be the start of something even bigger.

It took a casually made video featuring the band gathered around a single mic, performing a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” shot on a Brighton, Massachusetts, street corner to grab the public’s attention—its YouTube views now hurtling past a million views. What followed was nothing less than a modern-day music business success story—T Bone Burnett tapping them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show at Town Hall featuring music from and inspired by the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, taped for an upcoming special on Showtime. The New Yorker raved of their Town Hall performance: “I can’t imagine then, that Lake Street Dive—a quartet led by an amazing young singer, Rachael Price—won’t be getting some air time soon.” Rolling Stone called the band “unexpected showstoppers,” while Hollywood Reporter noted the group “delivered one of the show’s best moments with the swinging ‘You Go Down Smooth,’ with stirring vocals by lead singer Rachael Price.” The New York Daily News was similarly enthused, saying Lake Street Dive “was the evening’s wild card,” and noting Price “has the soulful howl of a young Etta James.”

And just like that, Lake Street Dive went from playing for a small devoted following, to selling out venues and planning an initial European tour, with dates on several late-night TV shows in the offing.

While “I Want You Back,” a track from their six-song Fun Machine EP, which included five covers and an original track, was spreading like wildfire on the Internet, the band had little idea what was happening. They were ensconced at Great North Sound Society, a recording studio located on an 18th century farmhouse in Parsonsfield, Maine, two hours from Boston, with producer/engineer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter) a location so remote, cell phone reception was spotty and web access non-existent.

The new album, Bad Self Portraits, which is being released by the Northampton, Massachusetts indie label Signature Sounds Recording as the follow-up to a self-titled debut and subsequent EP, is a microcosm of Lake Street Dive’s evolution of the band from “a weird alt-country jazz group to a pop-soul juggernaut, that turns ‘60s influences like Brill Building girl groups (“Stop Your Crying”), British Invasion rock (“Bobby Tanqueray”), horn-driven Stax R&B (“You Go Down Smooth”), Motown soul (“Use Me Up”) and even The Band-like gospel blues (“What About Me”).

“Our musical development has been like Google Earth,” explains Olson, “going from the entire universe to a specific place. That’s how we’ve honed in on our sound. We had the whole world of music at our fingertips, and we were unsure of what direction to take, but now we’re zeroing in a little closer.”

All four members of the band take part in the writing. The Bridget-penned title track is a wry commentary on how those selfie iPhone photos are just a cover for loneliness, but it could also refer to the rest of the album, each song a polaroid glimpse of a band that is constantly evolving.

“Nothing we do is set in stone,” says Olson about the band’s recording process in the studio, and that they are, first and foremost, a live outfit. “Songs change when we start to play them for people. That determines the stylistic direction more than anything else. When we record a song, that’s just a snapshot of where it was at that moment. And it continues to grow as we perform it."

And as things are rapidly growing for Lake Street Dive, the nine years that they spent focusing on their musical development has left them with one constant to strive for. "We are named in homage to dive bar bands," says Calabrese, "we were, are and always will be a dive bar band. Whether we're playing for 10 people or 10,000 we want them to have that feeling."
The Milk Carton Kids
The Milk Carton Kids
Grammy-nominated flat-picking harmony duo The Milk Carton Kids have emerged in the last three years as a powerful voice defining the continuing folk tradition. A refreshing alternative to the foot-stomping grandeur of the so-called “folk revival,” an understated virtuosity defines The Milk Carton Kids to the delight of traditionalists and newcomers to the folk movement alike. Indeed, Garrison Keillor has called them “absolute geniuses in close-harmony,” and has invited them onto A Prairie Home Companion three times in 2013, while cultural purveyors like T Bone Burnett and Billy Bragg continue to refer the importance of The Milk Carton Kids among a group of new folk bands expanding and contradicting the rich tradition that precedes them.

The Los Angeles Times lauds their latest Anti- Records release, The Ash & Clay (March 26, 2013), as displaying “absolute mastery of their craft” while Paste emphasizes the “intellectual sophistication of their songs, making The Milk Carton Kids an option for purists unsatisfied with some of the pop tendencies seeping in to the genre.” In addition to a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album of 2013, The Milk Carton Kids also received a nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards. They are featured in T Bone Burnett & The Coen Brothers' concert film documentary, "Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis'", alongside Joan Baez, Jack White, Gillian Welch, Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers and many other folk luminaries and upstarts.
Conor Oberst
Conor Oberst
Conor Oberst is an American singer-songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska. He has been writing and recording music since 1993. In that time he has recorded and performed in many bands and musical collaborations including Commander Venus, Monsters of Folk, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Park Ave., Desaparecidos, and most notably Bright Eyes, his main musical vehicle for the past decade.
Punch Brothers
Punch Brothers
Punch Brothers
Who’s Feeling Young Now?
By Michael Hill

The title of the third Punch Brothers disc for Nonesuch, borrowed from one of their new songs, is more an exhortation than a taunt. Who’s Feeling Young Now?, produced and engineered by Jacquire King, contains some of the most exhilaratingly direct, sonically daring performances the group has ever recorded. As the five members, ranging in age from their mid-20s to early 30s, have matured together on the road and in the studio, their approach to writing and performing has, conversely, become looser, simpler, and, in a sense, more unaffectedly youthful. In fact, the title song—featuring rumbling bass, skittering violin, and wailing multi-tracked vocals—sounds like hard-charging string-band punk rock. Opening track “Movement and Location” feels like Steve Reich–inspired indie rock, with rhythmically pulsing guitar, bass, and banjo lines and the same flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants spirit. It came together over a matter of minutes in mandolinist/singer Chris Thile’s living room. At this point, virtuosity is a given among these already prodigious players; the operative word for Who’s Feeling Young Now? is camaraderie.

“I think we’re a lot more comfortable now playing to our strengths and our bluegrass roots,” says guitarist Chris Eldridge. “We kind of came around to a place where that was something we were just as willing to present to the world—it’s obviously part of who we are, always has been—but I feel we’ve been a little reticent, as if playing a simple bluegrass song wasn’t enough. We’ve gotten a lot more comfortable in our skin.”

In 2006, former Nickel Creek member Thile instigated the collaboration that evolved into Punch Brothers when he recruited Eldridge, banjo player Noam Pikelny, and violinist Gabe Witcher to back him on a solo album, How to Grow a Woman; bassist Paul Kowert joined the band three years later. They officially became Punch Brothers, releasing a debut album, Punch, on Nonesuch in 2008. Since then, says Thile, “Punch Brothers has gradually evolved from a band that existed to present the ideas of one guy into a band presenting the unified idea of five guys. I had a very clear vision for The Blind Leaving the Blind and I’m very proud how that turned out, but the reason to put yourself in this kind of situation is to have the opportunity to present a real sense of community to other people. When there are five dudes up there doing something as a unit that encourages people to participate, that’s where Punch Brothers is exhibiting a lot of growth. We can actually bring a sense of real musical camaraderie, creative camaraderie, to people who come to our shows and those who listen to the records.”

Kowert, who joined the group just before the 2010 sophomore disc, Antifogmatic, concurs: “We hit our stride a little more on Who’s Feeling Young Now?, finding our places and our parts a little faster. We were basically playing better as an ensemble. Part of that has to do with the writing we did beforehand, part of that is just performing together longer, being on the road for a longer time.”

The quintet was able literally to see how far they’d come when they gathered in mid-2010 to review material, write new tunes, and rehearse for the upcoming sessions, returning to the same apartment building in Manhattan’s East Village where they’d first convened to tackle The Blind Leaving the Blind. As Pikelny explains, “Thile had moved to Brooklyn for two or three years but he was jones-ing for Manhattan again. He’s a creature of habit, so what does he do? He moves back into the exact same building and is in the unit right above the old one, where we have all these memories of just killing ourselves trying to learn The Blind Leaving the Blind, sleeping on the floor, being woken up by trucks at five in the morning. When we went back there, it was like being in a dream state for the first few hours; it didn’t seem possible, to be back in the building where we first looked at each other and said we wanted to do this. Five years later, we’re in practically that same room, working on our new record. With all that’s happened to the band, it felt quite triumphant. It’s a vindication in some ways that we’ve made this work. And now, instead of sleeping on floors, everyone lives in New York and could go back to their own apartments.”

Joining them at Chris’s new pad was King, a veteran of productions with Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon, and Josh Ritter. King helped to oversee the writing, arranging, and song selection He also nudged tunes like “Movement and Location” to fruition, urging the band to reconsider an odd mandolin fragment that Thile had previously shown them. With King’s encouragement, a new song was quickly constructed around it and that set the tone for what was to come. As Eldridge recalls, “The parts all just happened immediately, with a lot of ease. And that’s what a lot of the record ended up being like. There are obviously songs that are pretty rigorous, that we definitely put through the paces, kind of the way we always have. But ‘Movement and Location’ encapsulated the vibe we were trying to live with for this record, capturing a lot more of what we do well in a natural way.”

In October, Punch Brothers arrived at Blackbird Studio, King’s home base in Nashville. Recounts Witcher, “Blackbird has the greatest selection of microphones in North America, something crazy like that. For the whole first day, all we did was test microphones. By the end of the day Jacquire had a huge list of what mics sounded good on what instruments, got a general idea of what set-up we were going to record in, got everything up and running, and by the next day we went in and got going. It was a really fluid process. We ended up recording everything through amps as well, which was pretty tricky: to get a completely acoustic sound and an electric sound coming from the same source and blend it in a believable way. We just built it little by little; maybe the mandolin part is very natural on this one, but the fiddle has some delay on it and the bass has a little bit of distortion to add some punch.”

“We wanted someone who would approach the sound of this record as open-mindedly as we approach our instrumentation,” Thile adds. “We have a mandolin, bass, guitar, violin, banjo—and that’s the only limitation, the only thing we were not changing. We weren’t about to add drums or electric guitar, but everything else was open for intense re-arrangement.”

Thile was clearly open to the concept of radical re-arrangement when it came to his own role, too. Though his mandolin playing was often the lead instrument in Punch Brothers’ earlier work, he relinquished solo-ing duties this time around to Pikelny on banjo and Witcher on violin. Quips Witcher, admiringly, “To a lot of people, Chris Thile is the greatest mandolin player alive, and to have him almost exclusively be part of the rhythm section—he’s never made a record like that. It wasn’t a conscious effort, it was about the songs.” Thile, however, continues to handle the bulk of the lead vocals and lyric-composing chores, though he co-wrote with Josh Ritter two particularly erudite breakup/revenge songs, “New York City” and “Hundred Dollars.” (Witcher sings lead on the latter.) Bemoans Thile, “I’ve tried to limit the ‘relationship’ writing, but to no avail. When I sit down to think about what I want to write about, that’s what tends to come out.”

The band also included two covers, both of them instrumentals, on Who’s Feeling Young Now?. “Flippen” comes from the Swedish band Väsen, with whom Punch Brothers played at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The other is an interpretation of Radiohead’s “Kid A,” well known already to fans who’ve attended Punch Brothers’ free-wheeling p-Bingo shows in New York City. As Thile notes, “I like the irony that the cover from the famous band is the most abstract thing on the record.”

Each of the individual musicians crammed plenty of solo work and/or other collaborations in between Punch Brothers commitments. Pikelny released a second solo disc, Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail, produced by Witcher. Eldridge joined Pikelny on his record and, along with Witcher, on his tour; Kowert has been playing live dates in guitarist Jordan Tice’s trio with hammer dulcimer player Simon Chrisman, with which he released the album The Secret History. The peripatetic Thile recorded a Grammy–nominated duo set with Brooklyn guitar savant Michael Daves, Sleep with One Eye Open; released The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Stuart Duncan; and performed live in London with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau.

“Every little side project that we’ve done has helped us come back to Punch Brothers with new ideas, new energy, and a new sense of confidence—a righteous need to create stuff,” concludes Eldridge. “All of these things are fuel, they’re rejuvenating.”
Dave Rawlings Machine
Dave Rawlings Machine
The Secret Sisters
The Secret Sisters
Willie Watson
Willie Watson
Looking like a man from leaner and meaner times, Willie Watson steps on stage with a quiet gravitas. But, when he opens his mouth and lets out that high lonesome vocal, you can hear him loud and clear.

His debut solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1, was produced by David Rawlings at Woodland Sound Studios, the studio he co-owns with associate producer Gillian Welch in Nashville, TN, over the course of a pair of two-day sessions, for their own Acony Records label. The album spans ten songs from the American folk songbook ranging from standards like “Midnight Special,” “Mexican Cowboy” and Richard “Rabbit” Brown’s “James Alley Blues” to the more obscure, like Memphis Slim’s 12-bar blues, “Mother Earth,” Gus Cannon and the Jug Stompers’ “Bring it With You When You Come,” Land Norris’ double-entendre kids chant, “Kitty Puss” and St. Louis bluesman Charley Jordan’s sing-song “Keep It Clean.” Like the music, Willie can be murderous, bawdy or lustful, sometimes in the course of a single song, with a sly sense of humor that cuts to the quick. He counters a masterful bravado with the tragic fragility of one who has been wounded. “There’s a lot of weight in the way Willie performs,” says Rawlings, longtime friend and producer of Watson’s previous band, Old Crow Medicine Show. “He’s had some tragedy in his life, which has informed his art. There’s an emotional edge to what he does because of who he is as a human being. Willie is the only one of his generation who can make me forget these songs were ever sung before.”

Born in Watkins Glen, N.Y. – best-known for its race track and the rock festival of the same name which took place there, featuring the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and The Band – Watson grew up listening to his father’s basement record collection, including Bob Dylan and Neil Young, before stumbling on a Leadbelly album at the age of 12. Combined with having heard plenty of local string bands – featuring old-time banjo and fiddle – Willie experienced an epiphany.

“As soon as I heard that record,” he recalls, “I was hooked.”

With a voice that could quaver in the operatic style of his favorite, Roy Orbison, Willie went on to discover North Carolina Appalachian fiddle and banjo players Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham, who played songs like “Cripple Creek,” “Sugar Hill” and “John Brown’s Dream” on a compilation cassette of “round peak style” music. He began to unearth Folkways albums, including the label’s groundbreaking 1952 Harry Smith compilation, Anthology of American Folk Music, which helped kick-start the ‘60s folk revival lovingly captured in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. He discovered like-minded souls in Old Crow Medicine Show.

“When we started that band, I found people that were cut from the same musical cloth,” he says. “They were my age, into the same thing, going down a similar road. We started sharing our influences, trading records and playing together.”

A few years down that road, Watson’s work with Old Crow is already a large part of the reason that banjo and guitar driven music is heard everywhere in the air these days. On Folk Singer, we find Willie defending his musical turf. A true solo album in every sense, Watson is now center-stage, armed with an acoustic guitar, banjo and the occasional mouth harp. Indeed, hearing Watson’s skillful and subtle banjo and guitar accompaniments and soaring vocals unadorned for the first time is a revelation.

“Part of me always toyed with this idea of going it alone,” he explains. “I had to relearn some things, how to fill out all that space.” Watson takes the skeletons of these songs and breathes his own life into them, on stage and on record.
Jack White
Jack White
Born the youngest of ten children, raised in Southwest Detroit and a resident of Nashville since 2005, Jack White is one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades.

When the White Stripes started in 1997 no one, least of all Jack, ever expected that a red, white and black two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream world. The band's self-titled debut and sophomore effort De Stijl amassed critical acclaim and built a passionate underground following, but it was the release of 2001’s White Blood Cells that thrust the White Stripes onto magazine covers as they captivated larger audiences through worldwide touring. “Fell in Love With a Girl” served as the band’s breakthrough hit and its accompanying Michel Gondry Lego clip was chosen by Pitchfork Media as the #1 music video of the 2000s.

The release of Elephant in 2003 not only cemented the band’s reputation, but also offered the hit “Seven Nation Army” which has since been appropriated as arguably the most popular chant in sports stadiums around the world.

In 2004, White teamed up with Loretta Lynn to produce and perform on her Van Lear Rose album, an effort that won GRAMMY Awards for Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for the single “Portland, Oregon.” To date White has won nine GRAMMYs in seven different categories.

White formed a "new band of old friends," the Raconteurs, in 2006. Their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers featured the #1 hit single "Steady, As She Goes" and showed a markedly different side of White, one where songwriting, vocal and guitar duties were shared.

In 2009, White returned to his original instrument, the drums, and started the Dead Weather with members of the Kills, Queens of the Stone Age and the Greenhornes. Releasing two albums in two years and unleashing a dark, captivating live show upon curious audiences, the Dead Weather further cemented Jack White’s musical versatility and range.

Also in 2009, White opened the doors to his very own Nashville-based record label, Third Man Records, where he has since produced and released more than 250 records in just over five years. With a catalogue of releases from artists as varied as Jerry Lee Lewis, the Smoke Fairies, Wanda Jackson, Black Milk and Stephen Colbert, and unimagined vinyl configurations, the label has rightfully earned its reputation as a leader in the vinyl record industry.

On April 24, 2012, White released his debut album Blunderbuss on Third Man Records/Columbia.

Blunderbuss debuted at #1 on the U.S. albums chart--a career first for White--and was both the top selling vinyl album and the highest charting solo debut of 2012 in the U.S.. Blunderbuss also hit #1 in the UK, Canada and Switzerland, and received five GRAMMY nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song for "Freedom at 21," and, the following year, Best Rock Performance and Best Music Video for “I’m Shakin’.”

White released Lazaretto (Third Man Records/Columbia), the follow-up to the gold-certified Blunderbuss, on June 10th, 2014. Once again debuting at #1 on the U.S. albums chart and at #1 in Canada and Denmark, Lazaretto also broke the record for first-week vinyl album sales--selling over 40,000 copies in the U.S.--making it not only the biggest selling vinyl album of 2014, but of any year since 1991.
Venue Information:
Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
New York, NY, 10036
http://the-townhall-nyc.org/