The Pickin' Pear
Tia Martini and Leon Elam create an original modern sound on two traditional instruments. Together the Pickin’ Pear take the banjo and ukulele down the road of folk, rock, and bluegrass. Sometimes the ukulele will launch you straight into outer space! A blend of top-notch songwriting and improvisational jamming makes each performance exciting and new. The Pickin’ Pear are happy to bring their organic and all-natural blend of folk 'n' roll to stages across the U.S.
Pickin' Pear has played over 500 shows in 37 different states across the country since 2015.
Albums Recorded Together:
Something New EP (2022)
Feels Like Home (2019)
In The Woods (2016)
WHERE ARE WE FROM?
Tia grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago
Leon grew up in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati
The band started in Colorado
Moved into a minivan in 2017
Moved into an RV in 2019
THE WHOLE STORY
The pair met briefly at a Yonder Mountain String Band concert in Boulder, CO on New Years Eve 2012/2013. It was a brief encounter but an important one! They met again in 2014 at Chiller's Bar & Grill in Loveland, CO. Tia was still only a year or so into playing her ukulele and she was working on getting gigs with a couple guitar players she knew from Longmont. They worked out a deal to try out for a weekend gig at Chiller's by performing on a Wednesday night right before Leon's weekly open mic started. Since few people hardly ever came to Leon's open mic he was excited to invite the band to play along and sing some songs together. The guitar player's opted out but Tia was very excited to get to jam with a banjo! Together, they played all night long at Chiller's, trading songs and teaching each other the chord changes. That happened week after week and Tia quickly became an important member of Canyon Collected.
In November 2016 the happy couple decided to get engaged! In August of 2017, instead of having a wedding they decided it'd be best to quit their jobs and move into a minivan with their dog Cassidy. With a simple goal of trying to bring joy into the world every day, these troubadours travel and perform for audiences across the country with starry eyes and big dreams of making a life out of love and music.
Most of 2018 was spent bouncing between Pickin' Pear tour and amazing shows with Canyon Collected. A couple highlights included opening for a sold out crowd at the Mishawaka Amphitheater in Bellvue, CO and Pickin' Pear opening for Fruition at Pine Creek Lodge in Livingston, MT. In January 2018 they spent a couple days at the historic Royal Studios with JD Westmoreland of Rumpke Mountain Boys and grammy award winning Lawrence ‘Boo’ Mitchell.
In January 2019 they finished recording their first full length album at The Cathedral Studios in Cincinnati, OH and Lane Gibson Studios in Burlington, VT. On the record they wanted to show the direction they wish their band to grow by bringing in Matt Wolff from Indiana ska band Dissonance & Dissent to join them on the 5 string electric bass. They toured extensively in 2019 to support their release Feels Like Home. The album release show in Denver, CO featured many guests performing to support the big event.
We all know what happened in 2020. We settled in with family in the midwest and Leon went back to school to finish a degree he'd always wanted to finish. During summer break in 2021, Pickin' Pear went on tour out west and recorded 5 songs at The Dojo, a recording studio in Butte, MT with engineer Ben Morris. Ben and his partner Kayti helped bring 5 new Tia tunes to life. The release of the Something New EP lined up nicely with Leon's graduation in May 2022.
The road goes on forever and they are already working on a plan for the next full length record.
Awesome Bands We've Played With:
The Pickin' Pear has been lucky enough to perform with Fruition, Sicard Hollow, Grant Farm, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Old Salt Union, David Gans, The Sweet Lillies, Bridget Law, Desperate Electric, Cascade Crescendo, Diggin' Dirt, One Grass Two Grass, Grassfed, River Valley Rangers, Flatland Harmony Experiment, Fox Crossing String Band, Restless Leg String Band, Band of Comerados, Jack Cloonan Band, Dodgy Mountain Men, Jenny Don't and the Spurs, ClusterPluck, Devil Train, Highly Likely, Bluegrass Sweethearts, Tyler T. and The Common Clay and many more.
With their full band project, Canyon Collected they've opened for The Travelin' McCourys, Fruition, Kitchen Dwellers, Dustbowl Revival, Steve N Seagulls, Wood & Wire, Lil Smokies, Trout Steak Revival and so many more!
Awesome Festivals We've Played:
The Pickin’ Pear has played festivals across the country. In 2022 they played Big Pine Breakdown & Hippy Hill festivals in Indiana, as well as Sugar Creek Music Festival in Illinois. In 2021 they played Birds of a Feather in Kentucky, Forest of Freedom in Ohio, Flatrock Bluegrass Jamboree & Sol Grass in Wisconsin, and The Stevenson Waterfront Festival in Washington. In the past they have played The Deadication Festival, Gardiner Brewgrass Fest and Livingston Porch Fest in Montana. Tweener sets at Arise and NedFest in Colorado and the late set at the 2019 Ohio Jamgrass Festival.