Noam Pikelny – Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail

by | 9 Sep, 2011

News From Compass Records.

Noam PikelnyThe long awaited second album from Punch Brothers’ banjoist and winner of the 2010 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Album features: Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Tim O’Brien, Steve Martin, Bryan Sutton and Chris Thile. Free Download of Jim Thompson’s Horse is available on

Noam Pikelny is releasing his long awaited second album Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail on Tuesday, 25th October, 2011 on Compass Records. Pikelny is undeniably the next big thing to happen to the 5-string banjo, a player of unparalleled technique, he confounds and inspires listeners with his mastery of the instrument. As a member of Punch Brothers, he has helped to broaden the awareness of the banjo in the mainstream, earning 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. Noam is currently offering a free download of the first track from the album, Jim Thompson’s Horse – see below.

On his long-awaited 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 on guitar) Chris Thile on mandolin), Tim O’Brien on mandolin and fiddle and Jerry Douglas on 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.  Other standout tracks include a banjo duet with Steve Martin on the old-time standard Cluck Old Hen and a mind-boggling, instrumental powerhouse trio featuring Chris Thile and Bryan Sutton on the original Bear Dog Grit.  Rounding out the band is fiddler Stuart Duncan, Punch Brothers guitarist Chris Eldridge, and bassist Mark Schatz.  The release marks Punch Brothers fiddler Gabe Witcher’s debut as producer.