This is where I post transcriptions and analytical musings on some of my favorite Punch Brothers songs. A list of transcriptions can be found here.

October 27, 2017

It's nice when something that starts out as a hobby ends up becoming a line on your CV.

In the process of transcribing and analyzing the music of Punch Brothers, I began to find a common thread running through a number of their songs. The common thread was the regular u...

June 26, 2017

This post takes a look at "Movement and Location", the opening track from the album "Who's Feeling Young Now?". You can find the transcription (all 13 pages!) at the bottom of the post.

More than most Punch Brothers songs, "Movement and Location" clearly establishes spe...

June 9, 2017

This post takes a look at "Julep", a song from the album "The Phosphorescent Blues" and nominated for a 2016 Grammy for Best American Roots Song. The lead-sheet transcription can be found at the bottom of the page.

This song was one of the simpler ones to tran...

May 22, 2017

Here is the third and final installment on "Familiarity" from "The Phosphorescent Blues." This post will look at Part III and also include some observations on the entire work. A link to the transcription can be found at the bottom of the page.

The form is primaril...

May 17, 2017

Here is the second part of a three-part post on "Familiarity", the ten-minute opening track from "The Phosphorescent Blues." The transcription for this section (between 1'15" and 6'00" of the track) can be found at the bottom of the post.

First off, the overall for...

May 9, 2017

This is the first of three posts on "Familiarity", the epic first track from Phosphorescent Blues. As always, the transcription can be found at the bottom of the page. The song has a clear three part structure and this post will deal with the first part (up to 1'1...

April 14, 2017

For a bluegrass purist, Punch Brothers must be a frustrating band. While most of PB's songs don't fit within a traditional bluegrass style, whenever they do decide to play a straight-up bluegrass folk tune, they totally knock it out of the park. This is the case with "...

August 14, 2016

As has become increasingly obvious from analyzing a handful of Punch Brothers songs, nothing Chris Thile and "the boys" do in their songs is by chance. There always seems to be an underlying logic and awareness of larger formal structures for every surprising surface d...

August 5, 2016

This next entry takes a look at "Between First and A" from the album "The Phosphorescent Blues." I was not terribly familiar with this track before I began transcribing it, but as I've gotten more and more into this song, I would now say that it's one of my favorites....

July 17, 2016

In this entry of “What the Punch?!?”, I take a look at the novelty song “Omahallelujah.” This song was recorded live from the Feb. 7, 2015 taping of "A Prairie Home Companion" and joining the Punch Brothers (minus Noam Pikelny on banjo) on the song were Sarah Jarocz, R...

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Movement and Location of Phrases

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© 2016 by Paul David Thomas