Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Steve Martin - The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo

Steve Martin has been an accomplished banjo player long before he first rose to fame in the 70's as a comic
(he did use it in his act even then) and recently he has seriously forged a side career as strictly a musician with his own bluegrass combo. This is another CD I picked up at our library and so it did not have the booklet in it, but I understand that this is his 2nd music album and here he has a long list of accompanying musicians and singers, from Dolly Parton to Earl Scruggs to Vince Gill and many more. The record is also produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's John McEuen, an old high school buddy.

While a lot of this is instrumental bluegrass, mixed in are some vocal numbers, proving that Martin can truly sing, as well as pick. His inner comic comes out in the goofy "Late For School", but that is the only tune that he plays for chuckles. The rest is simply classic bluegrass/traditional/Irish picking and a-strummin' with some clever and interesting touches, keeping it from being just more-of-the-same. Well-done effort and well worth checking out!