Although initially drawn to the electric guitar, by his mid-teens Chris Eldridge had developed a deep love for acoustic music, thanks in part to his father, a banjo player and founding member of the seminal bluegrass group The Seldom Scene. Eldridge later gained in-depth exposure to a variety of different musical styles while studying at Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a degree in music performance in 2004. During his time at Oberlin, Eldridge studied with legendary guitarist Tony Rice. After graduating he joined the Seldom Scene with whom he received a Grammy nomination for the album Scenechronized. While still playing with the Seldom Scene he moved to Nashville, TN where he was a founding member of the critically acclaimed bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters. At the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association awards Eldridge and his Stringdusters bandmates won Emerging artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year for their debut album, Fork in the Road. Meanwhile, in 2005 he had caught the attention of mandolinist Chris Thile, who enlisted him, along with banjoist Noam Pikelny, violinist Gabe Witcher, and bassist Greg Garrison to start working on an ambitious side project. The project centered around a suite Thile was writing whose goal was to fuse the aural traditions of folk with the intellectual rigors of formal composition. In March, 2007 the quintet premiered the suite, The Blind Leaving the Blind, at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Soon after they decided to focus all of their collective energies into band and Punch Brothers was born.
Chris Eldridge has worked with a host of musical luminaries including Jon Brion, Fiona Apple, John Paul Jones, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Jerry Douglas, Julian Lage, Dierks Bentley, Sara Watkins, Del McCoury and many others.