Style: Traditional newgrass; compare to Nickel Creek, Infamous Stringdusters, Cadillac Sky
Top tracks: "Rabbit in the Log," "Loneliness and Desperation," "Bury Me Beneath the Willow"
Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile has led newgrass fusion to new heights with Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers. But this impressive pairing with guitar maven Michael Daves is more traditional bluegrass—with a dash of punk energy. The duo's fingers fly over lesser known standards packed with humanity's blues: love, betrayal, toil and keeping a chicken on the table. Thile and Daves create a remarkably full sound with only mandolin, guitar, and their high registry harmony; the chemistry is magical. Their raucous romp breaks your heart, comforts your soul and flings you around a barnwood dancehall. And the Jack White-produced gospel stomper "Man in the Middle," about Jesus at Calvary, makes that separately released single worth the extra bucks.1
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