On March 6, Jorgenson welcomed the Grammy-nominated Punch Brothers, a folk-bluegrass band, to their repertoire. Indie artist Hayley Heynderickx, a guitarist from Portland, Oregon, opened the concert with her song “The Bug Collector,”’ from her debut album “I Need to Start a Garden.” She laughed along whilst tuning her guitar during the show, explaining that she was a self-described “strange girl.” I was already a big fan of hers before the show began, so Heynderickx’s set was a very enjoyable experience for me.
As the main act took the stage, Jorgenson’s audience roared. A popular hit among folk and bluegrass fans, Punch Brothers is a band unlike any other. Their members, Chris Thile, Noam Pikley, Paul Kowert, Gabe Witcher, Chris Eldridge and Greg Garrison, are instrumental powerhouses in their own right. The skills of each musician are expansive and made for a crowd favorite. My personal favorite instrument was the mandolin played by Chris Thile. During the first song, he exploded into rapid plucking and strumming, and the crowd loved every second of it.
Playing songs off their album “Hell on Church Street,” the project was an ode to bluegrass giant Tony Rice’s “Church Street Blues.” Rice holds a special place in the members’ hearts as a musical inspiration and for guitarist Chris Eldridge as a family friend. After his passing in 2020, the band was inspired to re-record Rice’s songs with their own personal twist. A blend of modern folk and classic bluegrass, the album is a touching tribute to a true music giant. In their song “One More Night,” the band sings, “One more night, the stars are in sight / But tonight, I’m as lonesome as can be.” The song, among others, is a classic rendition of crooning bluegrass.
Heynderickx became popular in early 2020 when her hit song “Om Sha La La” went viral on TikTok. An avid gardener and nature enthusiast, her songs talk about all sorts of creatures, from praying mantises to fish. Heynderickx’s music may seem unfamiliar to the average listener’s ears. Her songs are an eclectic mix of acoustic guitar, vocal cracks and shouts, as well as a cappella verses. These additions are not usually present in mainstream indie or alternative tunes, providing a fresh take on the beloved genres. Heynderickx’s music is certainly a haven for anyone who feels like they don’t fit into the mainstream.