Basic Folk Podcast: Chris “Critter” Eldridge

Chris Eldridge won his first Grammy this year with The Punch Brothers. After eight 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 – Ben Eldridge – being a founding member of The Seldom Scene. After college, he spent time in The Seldom Scene with his dad and then joined The Infamous Stringdusters as a founding member. 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 this week’s podcast, Critter talks about how he initially (unsuccessfully) tried his hand at 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.

This podcast 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.

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