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NOAM PIKELNY 'Beat the Devil and Carry A Rail' COMP-4565-CD

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Pikelny is one of the new breed of hot young banjo pickers --he is a member of the Punch Brothers, and was the recipient of Steve Martin's first Excellence on Banjo prize and the $ 50,000 that goes with it --my how things have changed since the 1950s and 60s!! Not for the traditionalist, this is New Age music, quite listenable on most of the 12 cuts if you remove BEAR DOG GRIT --a tune that encapsulates everything that is weird and un-musical about some forms of "progressive" acoustic music (we won't call it Bluegrass because it really has nothing to do with the music of Monroe, Stanley, Flatt & Scruggs, etc). Some of the most interesting cuts here are four that feature guests, probably because they add some change of pace and variety to the proceedings. These include a nice CLUCK OLD HEN with Steve Martin, BOATHOUSE ON THE LULLWATER (with Jerry Douglas), FISH & BIRD (with Aoife O'Donovan vocal), and Tim O'Brien singing BOB McKINNEY.