Friday, October 23, 2009

STEVE MARTIN and the Steep Canyon Rangers

mark humphrey/AP

Entitled, " An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo", Thursday night was the STEVE MARTIN Banjo show at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago. Steve and THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS played 15 Blue Grass songs alone with 3 encore songs, several from Steve's CD "The Crow". Steve added just enough humor between songs to really make this show move to quickly. The 1 hour 20 minute's was quite short (maybe not for continuous banjo music) and it really flew.

Steve opened saying his agent was upset when Steve told him he wanted to do a banjo tour. He went on to say that the group had been on the road for 3 weeks but was corrected by the Rangers who told him 3 days !!! HaHa!!

Steve was amazed that his suit pants butt never got wrinkled since the beginning of the tour and the plane ride and even while sitting in the dressing room. Steve explained, " I must have a HOT ASS". HaHa!!, good old Steve Martin humor!!

Now for the music. The Steep Canyon Rangers, a great blue grass group from North Carolina, provided hand clapping, foot stomping, music. You can check the Rangers out here:


The group is made up of Woody Platt (guitar and lead vocals), Nicky Sanders (Fiddle and harmony vocals), Mike Guggino (mandolin and harmany vocals), Graham Sharp (banjo and harmony vocals), and Charlie Humphrey III (bass and harmony vocals). Steve mentioned that Charlie's bass was also a refrigerator for the tour and later in the show Steve asked Charlie for a banana and Charlie opened a small hole in the back of the bass and pulled out a banana and gave it to Steve. Just plain funny !!!

Woody sang lead on "Daddy Played the Banjo" which is one of the songs on Steve's "The Crow" cd.

Steve sang his great children's hit "Late for School" and "Wally on the Run"
(also on the cd).
Steve's banjo playing ability was highlighted when he played "Clawhammer Medley". Here Steve was having a little trouble with his electronic tuning which he said also gets his email for him. Now isn't that typical STEVE humor!!!

Then the whole group joined in for "Calico Train" and "The Crow".

Two of the encore songs really get the audience rompin' and stompin'. One was "Orange Blossom Special" which Steve said he kept wondering why he hadn't written it until one morning he woke up and thought "I did write that, I think". More Martin Humor!

The other great one was his big movie hit song, "King Tut".

So here's an earlier video of "Orange Blossom Special".
Enjoy and check Nicky Sanders great job with the fiddle that got a standing ovation here at the Palace!!!



And then the show was over, just to short and it went by to fast !!!