Punch Brothers, "Antifogmatic"
Singer/mandolinist Chris Thile is best-known as a member of progressive blue-grass band Nickel Creek, which is on indefinite hiatus. But Thile's new band Punch Brothers is building a case for bigger fame with the release of its second album, "Antifogmatic." The new set includes rowdy, raucous tunes - the foot-stamping "Rye Whiskey" only needs a washboard to sound like it's from an old time revue - as well as contemporary takes on the traditional genre. Accompanied by playful string instrumentation, the track "You Are" is a saucy ode to giving into a lover's temptation, while a wistful fiddle solo on "Missy" adds a touch of melancholy to the album. But closing song "This is the Song (Good Luck)" combines gentle harmonies with Thile's uplifting lyrics ("We'll get by/Good luck/These are tough times"), proving that the group has heart as well as punch. -- Erin Clendaniel