Basic Folk 32 – Chris “Critter” Eldridge

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Chris Eldridge won his first Grammy this year with The Punch Brothers. After 8 nominations between Punch Brothers, The Seldom Scene and his work with Julian Lage, this award was very overdue! Eldridge, who goes by the nickname Critter, grew up around bluegrass with his dad being a member of The Seldom Scene and being around influential players like Tony Rice. After college, he spent time in the Seldom Scene with his dad and then in The Infamous Stringdusters. During that time, Critter met Chris Thile, who approach him about joining a new project with him. He eventually decided that Punch Brothers would be his main project because he saw his future in progressing as a musician and growing and moving forward with Thile.

In our conversation, Critter talks about how he unsuccessfully tried his hand initially on electric guitar, but could not get a grasp on it. His mom gave him a Tony Rice record, he picked up the acoustic and then took it from there. He also reveals how Rice unintentionally revived his childhood nickname back into his adult and professional life.

Critter’s interview on Basic Folk was recorded on Three Mile Island in New Hampshire (no, not that Three Mile Island) during Miles of Music Camp, which is a wonderful folk-oriented camp founded in part by his partner, Kristin Andreassen and Laura Cortese.

Critter on Music City Roots with Julian Lage

The Punch Brothers’ latest album (Grammy award winning!)

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