12 Songs, 41 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

dmac-ct ,

An Instant Classic - Finest Bluegrass

Noam Pikelny's tribute to the best of traditional bluegrass is a brilliant, exciting album that is enjoyable listening throughout.

It's always interesting when a great artist decides to re-create an existing work. It opens up our understanding of both the original and the new version. One is aware that - like the new expression of the piece - the original was also created out of multiple decisions of what to do and how to do it. Listening to "Kenny Baker plays Bill Monroe" and comparing track to track with Noam Pikelny's new recording is a fascinating and expanding experience. We can think about how Baker assigned parts, just as Pikelny had to: after the banjo takes the fiddle part, what do you do with the banjo part? what does the fiddle do, etc. And that leads back to the arranging Kenny Baker did. Of course, then there's Bill Monroe's original. But I digress.

Backed up by Stuart Duncan, Ronnie McCoury, Bryan Sutton, and Mike Bub, Noam has re-imagined Kenny Baker's original 1976 album while being true to its roots. It has the same tracks, in the same order, but with the banjo taking Kenny's fiddle parts. Noam - and the other excellent musicians - skillfully blend their five instruments to reiterate and further explore the theme and progressions in Bill Monroe's tunes. Gabe Witcher produced, brilliantly. It's creative, highly musical, and fun to listen to.

Noam's best album to date - they just keep getting better!

MR. SG ,


This album will change the way many people see the bluegrass banjo. This is spot on Kenny baker plays bill Monroe, yet it has enough flare to be unique. I am completely blown away and yet not surprised at all considering the great musicianship on this record. Great job, Noam.

So Far, Not Great ,

Can't Get Enough of Pickels :)

Heard him while enjoying the Punch Brothers. Need I add anything to the admiring reviews here? Fun stuff, professional sound, love it.

More By Noam Pikelny

You May Also Like