Steve Martin : biography
The banjo was a staple of Martin’s 1970s stand-up career, and he periodically poked fun at his love for the instrument. On the Comedy Is Not Pretty! album he included an all-instrumental jam, titled "Drop Thumb Medley", and played the track on his 1979 concert tour. His final comedy album, The Steve Martin Brothers (1981), featured one side of Martin’s typical stand-up material, with the other side featuring live performances of Steve playing banjo with a bluegrass band.
In 2001, he played banjo on Earl Scruggs’s remake of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown". The recording was the winner of the Best Country Instrumental Performance category at the Grammy Awards of 2002. In 2008, Martin appeared with the band, In the Minds of the Living, during a show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina."]. October 6, 2009. The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
In 2009, Martin released his first all-music album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo with appearances from stars such as Dolly Parton.Itzkoff, Dave (August 5, 2009). . Guardian. Retrieved May 15, 2010 The album won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2010.. Retrieved May 15, 2010. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member John McEuen produced the album.
Martin made his first appearance on The Grand Ole Opry on May 30, 2009.. April 1, 2009. Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2010. In the American Idol season eight finals, he performed alongside Michael Sarver and Megan Joy in the song "Pretty Flowers". In June, Martin played banjo along with the Steep Canyon Rangers on A Prairie Home Companion, and began a two-month U.S. tour with the Rangers in September, including an appearances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, Carnegie Hall and Benaroya Hall in Seattle..Madison, Tjames (August 4, 2009). . LiveDaily.com. Retrieved on October 4, 2009. In November, they went on to play at the Royal Festival Hall in London with support from Mary Black.Gill, Andy (November 10, 2009). . The Independent. In 2010, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers appeared at the New Orleans Jazzfest, Merlefest Bluegrass Festival in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, at Bonnaroo Music Festival, at the ROMP Bluegrass festival in Owensboro, Kentucky, at the Red Butte Garden Concert series and on the BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland.. Red Butte Garden. The University of Utah. Retrieved May 15, 2010.. BBC. Retrieved May 15, 2010. Martin performed "Jubilation Day" with the Steep Canyon Rangers on The Colbert Report on March 21, 2011, on Conan on May 3, 2011, and on BBC’s The One Show on July 6, 2011. Martin performed a song he wrote called "Me and Paul Revere"Barker, Olivia (June 29, 2011). . USA Today. in addition to two other songs on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, at the "Capitol Fourth Celebration" on July 4, 2011."A Capitol Fourth". PBS. Retrieved July 4, 2011. In 2011, Martin also narrated and appeared in the PBS documentary "Give me the Banjo" chronicling the history of the Banjo in America.. PBS. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
Love Has Come For You, a collaboration with Edie Brickell, was released in April 2013. The two made musical guest appearances on talk shows, such as The View and Late Show with David Letterman, to promote the album.
Starting in May 2013, he is touring with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell throughout the United States.
Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass
In 2010, Martin created the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, an award established to reward artistry and bring greater visibility to bluegrass performers. The prize includes a $50,000 cash award, a bronze sculpture created by the artist Eric Fischl, and a chance to perform with Martin on the Late Show With David Letterman. Recipients include Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers band (2010), Sammy Shelor of Lonesome River Band (2011), and Mark Johnson (2012).