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    Chris Thile is a musical virtuoso.  At the age of 34 years old, he’s had a two decade career that people twice his age could only dream about having.  He is a mandolin player of the highest degree that has collaborated with the absolute best musicians in the industry and elevates them as much as they elevate him.

    Thile was born on the west coast in Oceanside, California, but relocated to Idyllwild, California when he was around five years old, the same age he began playing mandolin.  By age 8, he had joined with Sara Watkins and her brother Sean Watkins to form Nickelcreek.

     By 1995, Thile’s family moved to Murray, Kentucky where his father took a job at Murray State University.  The band managed to remain together, while playing bluegrass festivals all over the country throughout the 1990’s.  The self-released two albums – 1993’s “Little Cowpoke” and “Here to There” but the band didn’t make a splash in the mainstream until the release of their major label self-titled debut in 2000, produced by Alison Krauss.

    By the mid-2000’s he got married just as the band called it quits and Thile seemed to go through a creative renaissance putting out a string solo albums as well as collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan, Mike Marshall, Michael Daves, and Yo Yo Ma.  He even released an album that featured nothing but Bach sonatas played on mandolin.

    In 2008, the marriage fell apart and Thile took to music writing the music that would shape The Punch Brothers debut album, “Punch” more specifically the four part suite entitled “The Blind Leading the Blind.”  He recruited Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Kowert (bass) to fill-out the core of the band which went on to infuse hues of bluegrass, jazz, classical, and folk into their next four albums, including this year’s “The Phosphorescent Blues.”

    They will be performing at Iroquois Ampitheater September 24th tickets are $23-$30 and begins at 7:30 PM.

    Photo provided by Thile’s management.

     

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    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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