Earlier this week, Punch Brothers released Ahoy! (Amazon MP3 & Spotify) – a new five-song EP of b-sides that didn’t make it on the band’s last album Who’s Feeling Young Now?. The EP kicks off with two great covers: “Another New World” by Josh Ritter and “Down Along the Dixie Line” by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of the Ritter cover than the original. While it maintains the same ominous tempo that Ritter used, the instrumentation in the Punch cover is far superior. “Moonshiner,” my favorite from Ahoy!, is a brilliant new arrangement on this traditional tune, which is followed by “Squirrel of Possibility” a splendid and campy original instrumental. The album closes with another cover, “Icarus Smicarus” by Mclusky, which is in-line with more of the early, hyper Punch Brothers sound that I’ve never really been a fan of. But hey, 4 out of 5.
The band is currently touring the West Coast with The Milk Carton Kids and closes out the year with three shows at the Bowery Ballroom.