Steve Martin works the road behind 'The Crow'
A little more than a month after co-hosting the Academy Awards, actor/comedian Steve Martin will take to the road with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a lengthy trek behind last year's "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo."
Martin, who is slated to co-host the 82nd annual Academy Awards Sunday (3/7) alongside Alec Baldwin, will begin the outing with an April 19 show in Detroit. North Carolina-based bluegrass quintet Steep Canyon Rangers will join the banjo player for the run, which currently consists of 12 US stops, including gigs at New Orleans' Jazz Fest (4/29) and Manchester, TN's Bonnaroo (6/11). The full schedule is shown at right.
Originally released exclusively through Amazon.com early last year, "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo" entered wider retail release via Rounder Records last May. The album, which has been on Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart for 52 weeks to date, currently sits at No. 2.
Two songs from "The Crow" are part of "Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Concert," which became available Tuesday (3/2). A concert in celebration of the anniversary, which features select songs from Martin's 2009 performance at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, will air throughout March on PBS stations nationwide.
In January, "The Crow" earned Martin a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. The actor/musician has three previous Grammys: two for 1970s comedy albums and a 2002 win for Best Country Instrumental Performance.
Martin, a self-taught banjo player who has been performing with the instrument for decades, wrote all of the songs on the set, which features a mix of instrumentals and songs with traditional bluegrass vocals. A variety of guest performers make appearances on the album, including Mary Blak, Vince Gill, Tim O'Brien, Dolly Parton, Early Scruggs, McEuen, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka.