InTune: Noam Pikelny

InTune: Noam Pikelny

December 1st, 2011 in Local Regional News

Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Pete Seeger, J.D. Crowe, Bela Fleck...just a great list of American musicians well known for their banjo licks. As a relative newcomer to the scene, Noam Pikelny is quickly turning heads for his banjo playing, making his own case to one day soon be mentioned with the greats.

Hailing from Chicago, Pikelny spent much of his youth at Chicago's famed Old Town School of Folk Music. He played in a few traditional bluegrass bands in the area and studied music in college, but his musical journey really took a big boost in his early 20s when he decided to move to Boulder, Colo., where he quickly looped into the bluegrass scene there, joining the popular band Leftover

Noam Pikelny, banjo picker.

Noam Pikelny, banjo picker.

Salmon in 2002. In 2004, he joined the John Cowan Band and also released his first solo album, "In the Maze."

In 2006, Chris Thile was looking to start a new project after the hiatus of his popular band Nickel Creek. He teamed up with Pikelny and a few other great musicians to form the Punch Brothers and the new band quickly drew praise for its progressive, contemporary style of folk music that intricately mixes a blend of sophisticated bluegrass and jazz. Five years and two albums later, Punch Brothers is still going strong.

However, there has been time in between for Pikelny to receive the 2010 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and to release his newest solo album, 2011's "Beat The Devil and Carry a Rail."

Touring in support of his new album, Pikelny will take the stage with a group of other talented musicians at Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga on Thursday, Dec. 8.


Beat The Devil and Carry a Rail ' 2011

• Jim Thompson's Horse

• Cluck Old Hen

• Bear Dog Grit

• Milford's Reel

In The Maze ' 2004

• Speed Bump

• Manchicken

• Orange Front

• Overland

Others You Should Know:

She and Him

Musical duo comprised of actress Zooey Deschanel & folk rocker M. Ward

A Very She & Him Christmas ' 2011

• Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

• I'll Be Home for Christmas

• Sleigh Ride • The Christmas Song

Volume Two ' 2010

• Thieves • In the Sun

• Gonna Get Along Without You Now

Volume One ' 2008

• Sentimental Heart

• This Is Not a Test

• I Was Made for You

• You Really Got a Hold On Me

The Decemberists

Portland, Ore., based folk-rock band

Long Live the King - EP ' 2011

• Row Jimmy

The King Is Dead ' 2011

• Rise to Me • Down By the Water

• June Hymn • This Is Why We Fight

Hazards of Love ' 2009

• The Hazards of Love 1

• The Rake's Song

• The Hazards of Love 4

The Crane Wife ' 2006

• O Valencia!

• When the War Came

• Summersong

Broken Bells

Indie pop/rock project comprised of DJ/producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) and indie rocker James Mercer (The Shins)

Meryin Fields - EP ' 2011

• Windows

Broken Bells ' 2010

• The High Road •Vaporize

• The Ghost Inside • October