by Phillip Hall
for the progressive bluegrass of Punch Brothers arranged in the old-fashioned way (on a magic carpet around a single mighty mic) I am more indebted than ever to my partner safe at home but also, more a cock on the lookout whose ensemble overdrive is measured in teaspoons of vegemite or crushed garlic or in mugs of strong black coffee hiding the bottle of pre-noon comeuppance that makes bearable the reels and jigs of perfidy and moonshine soaked up in a sofa’s distressed leather: I am unshaven, daggy in worn black and grey tracksuit and holey woollen socks, shying away from the world dog-tired from that damned earworm jingle of what I’ve become: I wish to look at home in check or plaid or flannel, to be practised with power tools and solvents whilst commiserating in a convivial evening’s ‘Hops of Guldenberg’ or amidst other such booze-soaked hymns but all I now get is an empty inbox as I turn over and over to ‘punch brothers punch with care’.
Punch Brothers is an American progressive bluegrass band made up of Chris Eldridge (on acoustic guitar), Paul Kowert (on double bass), Noam Pikelney (on banjo), Chris Thile (on mandolin) & Gabe Witcher (on fiddle). Music is a vital part of my life, and along with my family, has got me through many tough spots. Unfortunately, I am not always grateful of their help, which I sometimes confuse with meddling interference – depression is a stink.
Phillip Hall lives in Melbourne, where he is a passionate member of the Western Bulldogs Football Club. His publications include Sweetened in Coals (Ginninderra Press, 2014), Borroloola Class (IPSI, 2018), Fume (UWAP, 2018) and (as editor) Diwurruwurru: Poetry from the Gulf of Carpentaria (Blank Rune Press, 2015). His newest book, Cactus, is forthcoming with Recent Work Press in 2021. He also co-publishes the e-journal Burrow: https://oldwaterratpublishing.com.