Podcast 74: Noam Pikelny & Stuart Duncan

Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan are arguably two of the greatest players to ever pick up their respective instruments. Pikelny is, day in and day out, pushing the boundaries of the five-string banjo both on his solo records and with the Punch Brothers. Meanwhile, Duncan is the world-renowned fiddler who has played on innumerable country records and even with Yo-Yo Ma (The Goat Rodeo Sessions).

These two musicians are about to set out on their very first duo tour (May-June 2014). It’ll be a minimalist setup: just banjo and fiddle (and perhaps, as we learn, a little singing). On this week’s podcast, we talk to both Pikelny (at 3:02) and Duncan (at 17:03) about the tour, the instruments they’ll be bringing and how they’ve strategized their performances. We also talk to Duncan about the Southern California folk and bluegrass scene he grew up in and the pivotal Byron Berline show that changed the course of his life.

You can now also read a transcription of our podcast interviews: