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Pickin' Pear Has 'Big Dreams' For Their Music Career

Tia Martini and Leon Elam - The Pickin’ Pear - combine their non-traditional stylings to their traditional instruments and create an original mix of modern American music. Together the Pickin’ Pear take the banjo and ukulele down the road of folk, rock, and bluegrass. Sometimes the ukulele will launch you straight to outer space. A blend of top-notch songwriting and improvisational jamming makes each performance exciting and new. Since coming together in Colorado in 2014 these two have performed over 500 shows in 38 states. In 2022 they will release new music, videos, and embark on another cross country tour.

Who are you taking a page from when it comes to achieving your music goals?

We came up watching bands like Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, and Infamous Stringdusters dominate the ‘JamGrass’ scene. As a duo we look up to those big bands but we also watch bands like the Wood Brothers and Billy Strings who started out as ‘just a duo’ for years but grew their sound into something so much bigger. We love The Grateful Dead too. Those guys, the ones that are still with us, have been touring for over 50 years. We don’t ever want to stop and it’s inspiring to see our heroes feel the same way.

What do you have your heart set on for your music career?

We are motivated by our big dreams of playing Red Rocks and touring Europe and traveling the world singing our original songs. However, we’re grounded by the thought that maybe we’ve already ‘made it.’ We feel so fortunate to perform for people all over the country. When we go to little towns like Gardiner Montana or Lafayette Indiana and they are singing our songs back at us… That’s just an overwhelming feeling. Our hearts are set on enjoying the moment and pushing forward toward playing bigger gigs and growing our sound.

When are you finishing up your next project?

Hopefully soon! We’re in the final mix phase and working on mastering our newest EP. 5 new songs all written by Tia. These 5 songs are full of emotion and energy and we’re really happy with each of them. It still comes out to about 30 minutes of music so there’s some lengthy jams and amazing lyrics all wrapped up into this little project. In this new era of releasing music online we’re going to release each song as a single spread out over the summer. We’re really excited for people to hear these tunes.

How do you respond to obstacles in the music making process?

Overcoming obstacles is just a part of the process. When it comes to learning a new song or writing a new part It’s usually something like: Get frustrated. Get over it. Keep on going. Repeat.

What does it take to apply all your focus in making a project come to fruition?

Making an album takes us a long time and it usually costs a lot of money. We’ve made a couple together now and it’s a lengthy process. Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Artwork, Layout, Distribution, Promo, Tour, Video/Photo, etc… It’s just so much. We are just two people and we have to rely on professionals to do most of those tasks. Which requires money. So we tour a lot and sell a lot of merchandise to pay for each thing. The pandemic didn’t help, but it usually takes us a couple years between releases just to put it all together again. We just try to do it right and not rush. I use a spreadsheet that keeps track of all these things. Being organized is key to any project.

What are you gaining from spending your time on ultimately doing what you love?

We’ve gained so much from living a life on the road singing our songs. We’ve gained so many lasting friendships and memories. We feel lucky to get to do what we love and we’re honored people spend their time and money to enjoy what we create.

Are there any other passions aside from your music that's getting your attention?

Well, when the pandemic hit Spring of ’20 we found work as farmers at a friend's place in Steamboat Springs, CO. Fall came around and we worked as campaign organizers for a US Senate race in Maine. When that was over Leon decided it might be a good time to go back to school and finish the bachelor's degree he started 20 years ago. So we’ve been in Northern Kentucky staying with Leon’s family while he finishes up. He’ll graduate in May. They have a show that same night and then they hit the road for the summer the next day. We’re both excited to put these other passions aside for a while and get back to playing music full time!

Leave links here:

Live Video:

Think (Blues Brothers set) -

What Have You Done -

Live at Mishawaka -


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