Noam Pikelny's tour for his outstanding new release, Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail began in Lexington, Kentucky yesterday. Undeniably the next big thing to happen to the 5-string banjo, and member of Grammy-nominated Punch Brothers, Noam Pikelny helped to broaden the awareness of the banjo in the mainstream -- with Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail.
Noam earned the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music, and a coveted appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman" with Martin. Pikelny was also the first acoustic artist to ever be featured in a Funny Or Die spoof, with stars Ed Helms, Steve Martin and more -- to hilarious and immensely popular response.
Though the banjo, a uniquely American instrument, has been usually associated with musics of the folk, bluegrass and traditional genres of music it has begun to be used more and more in mainstream music. After the weekend premiere of the PBS special "Give Me The Banjo," a documentary in which he carries a role, the 30-year-old Pikelny casts himself as an innovator and critical torchbearer for the banjo as a pop icon.
Noam announced his tour with this note:
Dear Friends and Supporters:
After much prayer and soul searching, I have decided to suspend my Kickstarter campaign to establish an Elephant Sanctuary in Chris Thile's East Village NYC apartment and refocus my energy on the Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail album release tour, starting tonight in Lexington, KY!
I'm joined by fellow Punch Brothers Gabe Witcher and Chris Eldridge, as well as Jesse Cobb, Mark Schatz and the New England Songbird™, Aoife O'Donovan, of Crooked Still. In addition to tunes from my albums, you can expect to hear a lot of singing from Aoife & Gabe. Critter has even offered to sing a mildly chauvinistic song! Ticket prices would have been much steeper if we planned on only playing instrumental banjo music.
Atlanta and the NYC early show are already sold out, but limited tickets are still available for the rest of the shows. You can buy tickets in advance for all concerts except Nashville, TN and Arlington, VA. This is the first time I've ever toured behind my own project. I promise it'll be either exhilarating or humiliating. You have my word. We couldn't be more excited to share the stage with each other.
Hope to see you within the next couple weeks. Any questions, requests, please email GuitarCritterHellYeah@gmail.com.
Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail was just released Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 on Compass Records. On this sophomore recording, Noam delivers a set that is as dazzling for its virtuosity as it is engaging for its melodic sensibilities. In addition to an all star cast of instrumentalists including Bryan Sutton (guitar), Chris Thile (mandolin), Tim O'Brien (mandolin, fiddle) and Jerry Douglas (dobro), he also shares the spotlight with guest vocalists Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still) on a delightful rendering of Tom Waits' "Fish and Bird" and Tim O'Brien on a re-working of the Henry Thomas classic "Bob Mckinney."