If you go
› What: Noam Pikelny
› Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4
› Admission: $21
› For more information: 423-624-5347
Noam Pikelny gained fame as a founding member of the Punch Brothers band, but it will just be him in the spotlight Tuesday night, April 4, at Barking Legs Theater. Pikelny's Chattanooga show is one stop on a solo tour promoting his new album, "Universal Favorite."
If the fact that he's a banjo musician extraordinaire isn't enough to make his concert a must-see, here are five more reasons this is a not-to-be-missed show.
» He's a Punch Brother. Multiple Grammy nominees, four albums ... enough said.
» He won the first Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo. Pikelny is already called the "pre-eminent banjoist of his generation," and winning that inaugural award in 2010 appears to affirm that title. The Chicago Tribune has called him "the pros' top banjo picker."
» You'll be one of the first to hear Pikelny perform songs from his new album. "Universal Favorite" was just released March 3, so Barking Legs patrons are among the first to hear this music live. The album was recorded live in the studio without accompaniment, with the artist coaxing a wide array of sounds out of his instruments. It's just the man himself playing his originals at Barking Legs.
» He sings! "Universal Favorite" reveals Pikelny has a resonant baritone voice that can conveys humor and melancholy in his lyrics.
» He has a wry sense of humor. Pikelny is a collector of vintage instruments. His album title is inspired by a banjo made at the turn of the 20th century by the U.S.S. Stewart Co., who named it the "Universal Favorite" because it was the company's most popular model.
"I stumbled upon an old catalog of theirs and saw the words, 'Universal Favorite,' and thought 'That is the most audacious thing I've ever seen. Who would have the gall to make a product and officially name it 'Universal Favorite?'"