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Chris Thile's New Album, "Thanks for Listening," Due December 8 on Nonesuch Records

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on October 6, 2017 - 9:30am
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Friday, October 6, 2017 - 09:30

Chris Thile's new album, Thanks for Listening, will be released on Nonesuch Records on December 8, 2017; vinyl on December 15. The album is a collection of new studio recordings, produced by Thomas Bartlett, of ten songs originally written as Songs of the Week on A Prairie Home Companion. Thile manned almost all of the stringed instruments on the album and is joined by guest singers Sarah Jarosz, Gaby Moreno, and Aoife O'Donovan. Pre-order to download the track "Thank You, New York," the lyric video for which you can watch here, and get a limited-edition, signed print.


Mandolinist, singer, songwriter, and radio host Chris Thile's new album, Thanks for Listening, will be released on Nonesuch Records on December 8, 2017, with vinyl to follow on December 15. The album is a collection of songs that were originally written for performance on A Prairie Home Companion. Since becoming the American Public Media program's host, Thile has, each week, written one new (often topical) "Song of the Week" that gets its debut performance on that Saturday's live broadcast—with Thile, the house band, and some of his guest musicians. For Thanks for Listening, Thile and producer Thomas Bartlett chose ten songs from nineteen possibilities and created new studio recordings of them, rather than merely documenting them as originally performed. Pre-orders of Thanks for Listening are available now at iTunes,, and and come with an instant download of the album track "Thank You, New York," the lyric video for which you can watch below; pre-orders at the latter two sites also include an exclusive limited-edition print of the album art autographed by Thile.

As Thile says, "The album pivoted away from the show and toward the listeners—and not just to the listeners of Prairie Home but to anyone who listens to things. They are my heroes—people who listen. I find myself all too often on the other side of the conversation, talking about what I'm doing. It's hard to maintain focus or give something enough attention to appreciate it. We're in a place where listening is a precious commodity. That's the theme that I noticed rising up, greater than 'here is what was happening last week' or 'here is the place we were.' It's a celebration of people who haven't switched off, despite being given every reason to do so."

Thile manned all the stringed instruments during the album sessions, save for bass (Alan Hampton) and viola (Nadia Sirota, on the title track). Ted Poor—like Hampton, a member of Andrew Bird's touring band—played drums on five tracks. Bartlett provided, in Thile's words, "whatever sounds weren't accounted for." Three guest singers also perform on the album, all of whom had been on A Prairie Home Companion multiple times: Sarah Jarosz, Gaby Moreno, and Aoife O'Donovan. Thile says, "All three had made really meaningful contributions to how the songs ended up expressing themselves. I would bounce lyrics off them at rehearsals—melodic moves, harmonic parts. That goes for all the musicians who played on this last APHC season. They all made such meaningful contributions to these songs. I'm really grateful."

MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile is the founding member of Punch Brothers, which a Boston Globe reviewer has called "the tightest, most impressive live band I have ever seen." The group's four Nonesuch albums are Punch, Antifogmatic, Who's Feeling Young Now?, and The Phosphorescent Blues. Thile's other Nonesuch releases include a duo album with guitarist Michael Daves, two records with bassist Edgar Meyer (one of which won a Grammy), a Bach album with Yo-Yo Ma and Meyer, a duet album with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, and the T Bone Burnett–produced soundtrack to the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. As a soloist, Thile has released five albums—most recently the highly praised Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1—and performed extensively as a duo with fellow eminent mandolinist Mike Marshall. He spent his formative years as a member of the Grammy Award–winning, multi-platinum selling band Nickel Creek, which reunited in 2014 for its highest-charting album to date, A Dotted Line, and an extensive tour.

Thile has been host of public radio favorite A Prairie Home Companion since last season, when he took over for longtime host Garrison Keillor. He had been a regular guest on the program since the age of fifteen. "I grew up with the show, says Chris. "I take this opportunity, this job, immensely seriously and with great awe." Musical guests on the show so far have included Jack White, Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, Regina Spektor, and Esperanza Spalding, as well as spoken word guests like Trevor Noah and Maria Bamford. Thile's second season begins October 7 with guests Chris Stapleton and Julien Baker.


Oct 7 APHC at The Palace Theatre St. Paul, MN
Oct 11 Straz Center* Tampa, FL
Oct 14 APHC at The Fitzgerald Theater St. Paul, MN
Oct 18 North Shore Center for the Performing Arts* Skokie, IL
Oct 21 APHC at The Fitzgerald Theater St. Paul, MN
Oct 24 Opperman Music Hall* Tallahassee, FL
Oct 28 APHC at Pasadena Civic Auditorium Pasadena, CA
Nov 4 APHC at San Diego Civic Theatre San Diego, CA
Nov 8 Teatro dal Verme** Milan, ITALY
Nov 9 Teatro Zancanaro** Sacile, ITALY
Nov 11 Paradiso Grote Zaal** Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
Nov 12 Barbican Hall** London, UK
Nov 13 Philharmonie de Paris** Paris, FRANCE
Nov 14 Prinzregententheater** Munich, GERMANY
Nov 16 Leverkusener Jazztage** Leverkusen, GERMANY
Nov 17 Kirche Neumunster** Zurich, SWITZERLAND
Nov 18 Wiener Konzerthaus** Vienna, AUSTRIA
Nov 21 Sanders Theatre* Cambridge, MA
Dec 2 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
Dec 9 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
Dec 16 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
Jan 6 APHC at Davies Symphony Hall San Francisco, CA
Jan 13 APHC at Keller Auditorium Portland, OR
Jan 20 APHC at Saenger Theatre New Orleans, LA
Jan 27 APHC at Bass Concert Hall Austin, TX
Feb 24 APHC at The Fitzgerald Theater St. Paul, MN
Mar 3 APHC at The Fitzgerald Theater St. Paul, MN
Apr 7 APHC at State Theatre Minneapolis, MN
Apr 14 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
Apr 21 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
Apr 28 APHC at The Town Hall New York, NY
May 5 APHC at Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
May 19 APHC at The Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA
May 26 APHC at Wolf Trap Vienna, VA
Jun 9 APHC at Ravinia Festival Highland Park, IL
Jun 16 APHC at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Woodinville, WA
Jun 30 APHC at Tanglewood Lenox, MA

* Chris Thile solo
** Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau

Chris Thile: "Thanks for Listening" [cover]

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