Steve Martin

When it comes to banjo, legendary comic Steve Martin is all business—and I don’t mean funny business. Though the instrument was an integral part of his early stand-up routine in the ’70s, he’s never approached it lightly, having first learned to pick from his childhood friend John McCuen who would later help form The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Over the years, Martin has held court with the upper crust of the banjo world, from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck. With his companion group The Steep Canyon Rangers, Martin plays mostly self-penned instrumental tunes that draw heavily from bluegrass and country traditions. (Check out his recent album The Crow.) The songs are warm, light-hearted affairs that showcase his impressive skill, but in that humble way that has made Martin such an enduring performer. BRIAN BARR

Sat., June 19, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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