Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Steve Martin to play MerleFest; met his band in North Carolina

Comedian, author, musician and "wild and crazy guy" Steve Martin will bring his band the Steep Canyon Rangers to Wilkesboro's MerleFest later this month, according to reports. The band is on its second nationwide tour.

Martin, in fact, told the crowd at a recent performance at the 250-seat Largo theater in Los Angeles that he met the band at a party in North Carolina, but joked, "when we're in California, I tell people we met in rehab."

Yet when it comes to the music from his Grammy-winning bluegrass album, "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo," Martin is all serious.

A banjo player for 45 years, Martin says he wrote all 15 tracks on his album, which spent a year atop Billboard's bluegrass charts. The previous tour included stops in Charlotte, but the band's Web site listed none so far this time around.

Other Carolinas dates are planned for this tour, including MerleFest, the annual tribute to the music of North Carolina's own Doc and Merle Watson. The band plays solo performances there on April 30 and May 1 and with Martin on May 1.

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