Punch Brothers’ new album Hell On Church Street is the band’s reimagining of, and homage to, the late bluegrass great Tony Rice’s landmark solo album Church Street Blues.
Tony Rice was a highly inluential bluegrass and folk acoustc guitarist and singer. Upon his passing Christmas Day, 2020, Ricky Skaggs called him “the single most influential acoustic guitar player in the last 50 years.”
The progressive bluegrass collective known as Punch Brothers said of Tony Rice and Church Street Blues: “No record (or musician) has had a greater impact on us, and we felt compelled to cover it in its entirety, with the objective of interacting with it in the same spirit of respect-fueled adventure that Tony brought to each of its pre-existing songs.”
Formed in 2006, Punch Brothers are guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny, mandolinist/singer Chris Thile, and fiddler Gabe Witcher. On Hell On Church Street they give their own spin on Rice's own spin on classic folk and bluegrass songs by Bill Monroe, Bob Dylan, Jimmie Rodgers, Norman Blake, Gordon Lightfoot, and more.