Punch Brothers makes its third appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Initially categorized as a group that inserted bluegrass instruments and sensibilities into the structure of modern classical music, Punch Brothers’ third album (Who’s Feeling Young Now?) finds the quintet reaching out to territories whose nearest sonic neighbors might be experimental rock bands like Radiohead.
The new album indeed includes a cover of “Kid A,” but Punch Brothers’ gift for melodic experimentation and boundary-pushing might be best demonstrated in “Movement and Location.” That song kicks off the band’s Mountain Stage set, as well as the album. Led by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, Punch Brothers’ lineup includes Noam Pikelny on banjo, Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Paul Kowert on bass and guitarist Chris Eldridge.