Mount Royal includes eight originals, several reimagined versions of old bluegrass songs, and a cover of Eddie Vedder's “Sleeping By Myself” that is as engrossing as it is surprising. The arrangements on the album’s twelve, mostly instrumental tracks feature complex, rollicking guitar lines one would expect from such technically gifted players, but these moments are allowed to breathe.
Lage is a renowned jazz guitarist who has collaborated with a range of musicians—Nels Cline, Gary Burton, and Fred Hersch, to name a few. According to the New Yorker, he belongs “in the highest category of improvising musicians, those who can enact thoughts and impulses as they receive them.” Eldridge is a veteran of the bluegrass world, cutting his teeth in the legendary outfits The Seldom Scene and The Infamous Stringdusters before anchoring Punch Brothers, an acoustic supergroup that combines folk instrumentation with pop and experimental songcraft. When they play together, however, they do not represent the genres or styles with which they have long been identified.