Universal Favorite

Universal Favorite

by Noam PikelnyNoam Pikelny


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The virtuosic Punch Brothers and ex-Leftover Salmon banjo player's Rounder Records' debut, and fourth proper solo outing, Universal Favorite sees Noam Pikelny playing the role of one-man band on a set that covers everything from country and bluegrass to jazz and classical. Recorded live in the studio and comprised of seven solo instrumentals and five songs with vocals -- a first for Pikelny -- the 12-track set is as organic as they come. "Waveland" opens the proceedings with a delicate wash of elliptical, classical-tinged plucking that evokes the Punch Brothers' more regal moments, while the traditional "Old Banjo" serves as a fine introduction to Pikelny's uneven, but immensely likeable baritone, which shares some of the earthy resonance of Jake Xerxes Fussel. Pikelny proves himself to be as deft a guitar player as he is a peerless banjoist on a cover of Carl Butler's "My Tears Don't Show," but it's his trusty five-string that delivers Universal Favorite's best moments. The three-part closing act, which includes a pair of disparate but wildly inventive instrumentals, and ends with a homey and spirited rendition of Roger Miller's "I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone)," perfectly encapsulates the album's simple, rough-hewn charm.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/03/2017
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0888072023109
catalogNumber: 1166100196
Rank: 116186


  1. Waveland
  2. Old Banjo
  3. Sugar Maple
  4. Folk Bloodbath
  5. Hen of the Woods
  6. My Tears Don't Show
  7. The Great Falls
  8. Moretown Hop
  9. Sweet Sunny South
  10. Redbud
  11. Bye
  12. I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone)

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