Tia Martini and Leon Elam – The Pickin’ Pear – branch out from Canyon Collected to create a folk ‘n’ roll duo. They 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 2014 they’ve played over 700 shows together with multiple projects (Canyon Collected, Young and On the Way, Pickin’ Pear). Since going full time on the road with Pickin’ Pear in 2017 they have played over 400 shows in 36 different states across the country. In 2020 and beyond The Pickin’ Pear will be bringing their organic and all natural blend of folk ‘n’ roll all across the U.S. and the world!
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 are hoping to tour extensively in 2019 in support of their new release Feels Like Home.
The Pickin’ Pear has been lucky enough to perform with Fruition, Grant Farm, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Old Salt Union, David Gans, The Sweet Lillies, Bridget Law, 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, Naughty Sweethearts, 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, Dustbowl Revival, Steve N Seagulls, Wood & Wire, Kitchen Dwellers, Lil Smokies, Trout Steak Revival and so many more!
The Pickin’ Pear has played some great festivals across the country including The Deadication Festival, Gardiner Brewgrass Fest and Livingston Porch Fest in Montana. FoCOMX in Fort Collins and tweener sets at Arise and NedFest in Colorado. In Ohio they played the late set at Jamgrass Jamboree in 2019. They also worked closely with friends in Kentucky to put on Treasure Fest three years in a row.
When you come to a show please don’t be shy and say hi!