The Punch Brothers have one foot firmly in history and tradition and one foot firmly stepping forward into the future. Their most recent album, Hell on Church Street, is a track-for-track reimagining of Tony Rice’s classic 1983 record Church Street Blues. Rice was a master bluegrass guitarist and pioneer of the newgrass movement whose range extended into jazz. He played with notable artists like David Grisman, J.D. Crowe & The New South, and Ricky Skaggs, and he influenced a lot of artists in acoustic music and related genres.
Following a lengthy illness — he last played publicly in 2013 — Rice passed away in 2020, making Hell on Church Street a timely tribute to his memory at the Lincoln Theatre recently with the Punch Brothers.