Steve Martin has become somewhat of a Renaissance man in his career; already an accomplished comedian, actor, director, author, playwright, host, and currently pursuing his musical side. Martin is touring with the Steep Canyon Rangers, who made their tour debut on March 29 with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in Boston called “An Evening of Comedy and Bluegrass.”
The group also decided to surprise fans with a concert at the Paul Revere House in the North End. The last minute concert was a treat for fans who said that Martin lived up to both his musical and comedy talents.
Martin has been playing the banjo since he was 16 years old, taught by John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Martin’s stand-up routine was their opening act in the 70s. Throughout his career Martin has continued to tour with various bluegrass groups making appearances on both late night and live broadcast, sometimes incorporating a musical act within his stand-up.
Though much of the popularity and appeal of this tour comes from the fan following of Martin, Steep Canyon Ranger Nicky Sanders isn’t worried about artistic integrity. “The comedy fans don’t go home disappointed, and many people are turned on to bluegrass for the first time,” he said.
Martin himself was unsure about how to handle both the music and the comedy, saying, “When I first started doing this we just billed the show as a bluegrass show, because I didn’t want to say ‘bluegrass and comedy’ because I didn’t want people to come thinking it was the old act, but now we know the audience understands that it’s a music and comedy show — but the music is quite serious and the comedy is not.”
About the Author: Currently working on my B.A in Film Studies at CSU Sacramento full time, working part time, and playing the rest of the time. Began my love of comedy with Gene Wilder, and haven't looked back. Tweet me @steviewho