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Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers on Austin City Limits
From the ACL taping program on April 27, 2010:
Steve Martin, one of the most diversified performers in the motion picture industry today has been successful as a writer of and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history. And now Martin has branched out even further to become a Grammy Award-winning musician.
“I started (playing banjo) when I was 17,” Martin told Billboard. “I know what my specialty is — playing songs I write, and if I’m asked to step outside that specialty, I can get a little nervous. It’s a dichotomy; on one hand I can play my own songs with anybody, but if I got into a really serious bluegrass crowd, I’d play a couple standards and retire.”
While Martin already had Grammy Awards and Gold records for his comedy albums, in 2003, his skills as a musician took center stage. Martin won a Grammy for Best Country Instrumentalist for his playing on Earl Scruggs 75th Anniversary album. His banjo playing “explores all the sounds this glorious instrument has to offer, and weaves them into his own charming, unaffected songs,” wrote BBC Music.
In 2009, he released his own bluegrass CD, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, and received a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.
Entertainment Weekly wrote: “Comedy legend Steve Martin used to pepper his stand-up routines with banjo-playing (and once ”dueled” on that Deliverance tune with the Muppets). But this bluegrass collection is an almost entirely serious affair. ,,, The result is a rare album by a moonlighting movie star that doesn’t make its creator look like a jerk.”