Ahoy! is a collection of five songs from the “Who’s Feeling Young Now?” recording sessions by the Punch Brothers. The EP includes three covers (“Another New World” by Josh Ritter, “Down Along the Dixie Line” by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and “Icarus Smicarus” by Mclusky), the band’s arrangement of the traditional tune “Moonshiner,” and a new instrumental track “Squirrel of Possibility.”
The Punch Brothers show us again what they’re about. Ahoy is a nice little collection of songs which might have not made it on a complete album, although I myself think most of them actually would. Their versions of Another New World, Moonshiner and their own song Squirrel of possibility, are done in that nice and almost volatile way the Punch Brothers play bluegrass ballads. Down Along the Dixie Line is done in a slight more traditional approach, with of course the Punch Brothers’ signature. The one that made me think a little bit more is Icarus Smicarus. Seen the fact I don’t know the brothers personally, I don’t know how to judge this one. Is it a joke, is it a hint or just an experiment? I don’t know. At least it changes a bit, and they show that they’re capable of doing quite some different things and don’t fit in the standard bluegrass/stringband-tag. It might not be my favourite, but hey who am I, but still the album is a nice add-on on the punch brother collection. In the whole roots-, Americana- and newgrass-revival that we’re living now, I think the Punch Brothers are a band to deal with, they are (as a band) a fresh new wind, and are taking stringband music to a new level.