Photo via Punch Brother’s Official Facebook
This afternoon, Punch Brothers shared an official message with their friends and followers across their social media pages, announcing the departure of longtime member Gabe Witcher. The ensemble also shared that his slot has already been filled by fellow fiddler Brittany Haas.
The post read: “We wanted to share some news with you: our beloved bandmate of all 18 years of Punch Brothers, Gabe Witcher, has decided it’s time for the next step in his musical journey. We feel so lucky to have been able to build this band with him, and will continue to look to him for inspiration as we move forward with a new sibling: the extraordinary Brittany Haas.”
The band went on to add information about their final performance with Witcher, scribing: “Our last shows with Gabe will be at this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival (where the idea for Punch Brothers was born!), so you’ll be able to join us in celebrating his ongoing awesomeness via KOTO-FM‘s live stream of our main stage set Sunday, June 18th.”
Before concluding their message, Punch Brothers added: “Gabbers, we love you and are forever in awe of you. We can’t WAIT to hear what’s next! Britt, WELCOME ABOARD!!! You’re freaking amazing and we’re so SO excited to start mixing up the next batch of Punch with you.”
A founding member of the Punch Brothers, Witcher has long been a part of the ensemble, which initially came together around 2006. As an integral member, Witcher has added his signature string work to beloved tracks like “Julep” and “Rye Whiskey” and many others.
Following today’s announcement, Haas has stepped up the the plate. Her career began at age 14 as a touring musician with Darol Anger. After graduating from Princeton, she was a part of the Porchlight Band, with fellow bluegrass players Sierra Hull, Andy Hall and others, for the 2011 documentary, which borrowed the same name as the band. In recent years, Haas received the Instrumentalist of the Year award from the Americana Music Honors & Awards and was selected as Artist and Resident at East Tennessee State University.
Scroll down to view Punch Brother’s official announcement.