Punch Brothers and Jennifer Lea Mayfield play Belleayre
Highmount — Punch Brothers and Jessica Lea Mayfield will offer a hip musical montage of bluegrass, country noir and rock at Belleayre Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m.
Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile’s newest venture is an all-star quintet called Punch Brothers (the name comes from the Mark Twain short story Punch, Brothers, Punch!). The band includes guitarist Chris Eldridge, formerly of the Infamous Stringdusters; bassist Greg Garrison, who has played with Ron Miles and Leftover Salmon; banjo player Noam Pikelny, who has worked with John Cowan and Tony Trischka; and violinist Gabe Witcher, a sought-after session musician and a member of Jerry Douglas’ band for a half-dozen years.
Punch Brothers offer an intriguing musical style that’s difficult to categorize, but easy to love.
The group issued a debut album, “Punch,” in 2008, which was anchored by Thile’s ambitious 40-minute, four-part suite “The Blind Leaving the Blind.” The New Yorker called the band’s debut, “wide-ranging and restlessly imaginative.”
The double disc “Antifogmatic,” followed last fall.
The Boston Globe says of the band, “This top-shelf acoustic quintet is a virtuosic revelation,” while the Chicago Tribune says “their breathtaking virtuosity isn’t about soloing but complex ensemble unity, with a cumulative power that leaves the listener pleasantly rung out.”
Jessica Lea Mayfield
Rounding out the double-bill at Belleayre is Jessica Lea Mayfield, who has enjoyed an extraordinary year, spurred by the release of her stunning sophomore effort, “Tell Me.”
Jessica has earned substantial critical and audience buzz for this record and recently received a nomination from the Best New/Emerging Artist from the American Music Association. Winners will be announced at the November 20 awards show.
The acclaim surrounding Jessica revved up again with the July release of SPIN magazine’s compilation release of “Newermind,” a multi-artist tribute commemorating the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s epic “Nevermind.” Jessica’s cover of “Lounge Act” has been hailed as one of the most riveting tracks on the release.
At age 15, Jessica recorded a batch of her own acoustic songs, one of which wound up in the hands of Dan Auerbach, frontman of the Black Keys. With Auerbach¹s help, Jessica launched her official debut album, “With Blasphemy So Heartfelt,” which immediately won raves from critics and fans. Building on that success, “Tell Me” takes Jessica’s music in new directions, while always staying true to her forthright, confessional song writing. Her sound has been described as “country folk noir.”
Jessica, now 21, has been steadily gaining legions of new fans with extensive touring, including a riveting set at Bonnaroo and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. The Los Angeles Times named “Tell Me” one of its Top 25 releases for the first half of 2011.
This show will be held in the intimate setting of the Belleayre Music Club. Table service will be available. General admission tickets are $25 and VIP seating is $50.
The Belleayre Music Festival will wrap up on the Labor Day Weekend with genre-busting banjo sensation Bela Fleck & The Flecktones Original Lineup on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. Nominated in more Grammy categories than anyone in history, Bela Fleck promises a show not to be missed.