There are not that many lengthy songs in the bluegrass/folk genre. Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant (18:34) is the best known exception to the rule, but now we have The Blind Leaving The Blind, a four piece suite written by Chris Thile which runs for more than 40 minutes. The inclusion of what could well be his magnum opus on the Punch Brothers album Punch dwarfes the other songs which fall into more palatable bluegrass tradition.
With The Blind Leaving The Blind Thile raises the bar for his fellow artists and himself. He tells the story is marital breakup and his feelings about that afterwards. The lyrics are sketchy at times with long instrumental interludes. It might prove to be his albatross in the future, but for now he is flying high on the success of capturing such an intricate piece of music in the studio. Program you player to skip the big one if want to listen to the other tracks. They deserve it, with It'll Happen ending the album as a bittersweet coda.
Chris Thile: mandolin, lead vocals
Chris Eldridge: guitar, vocals
Greg Garrison: bass, vocals
Noam Pikelny: banjo, vocals
Gabe Witcher: fiddle, vocals
Punch is released on Nonesuch Records.Tracks:
- Punch Bowl
- The Blind Leaving The Blind: First Movement
- The Blind Leaving The Blind: Second Movement
- The Blind Leaving The Blind: Third Movement
- The Blind Leaving The Blind: Fourth Movement
- Nothing, Then
- It'll Happen