If you're a long-time fan of Leftover Salmon, John Cowan Band, or the Punch Brothers, you're probably well aware of the freakish talent emanating from Noam Pikelny's fingertips. The man is a monster of a banjo picker and has earned his place in the front of what's been somewhat of a banjo-fueled Americana groundswell over the past couple years. But, for all the backing-up-other-people he's done, Pikelny has made two outstanding "solo" records where he has taken the opportunity to shine his own light. First was 2004's In the Maze, then came his 2011 release Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail. That disc saw him collaborating with everyone from Crooked Still's Aoife O'Donovan (who has her own solo record coming this year) to Tim O'Brien and Steve Martin. It was such an accomplished recording, in fact, it scored Pikelny a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album.
You can tune into the 2013 Grammy Awards to learn how that turns out for him(or at least to their website - the Bluegrass category is unlikely to be awarded during the telecast) on Feb 10. In the meantime, check out this introductory bio and profile of Noam Pikelny.