Steve Martin Is a ‘Rare Bird’
Steve Martin is putting his fans on 'alert.' The 64-year-old comedian, actor, writer, playwright, producer, composer, juggler, amateur magician and banjo player (not necessarily in that order) is showing off his musical talents once again with the release of his second full-length bluegrass album, 'Rare Bird Alert,' joined by the Steep Canyon Rangers. The disc also features guest vocals by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.
Last spring and summer, the jack-of-all-trades went on tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers in support of his first bluegrass album, 'The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.' The album went on to win a Grammy and spent 31 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard bluegrass album chart.
Steve was euphoric to share the musical talent that he had, for the most part, kept to himself for decades. "I couldn't be happier," Steve said. "To go from my living room saying, 'I think I'll do an album' to winning a Grammy is very exciting. And you have to remember it's a banjo record, so it's a little bit puzzling. I don't think it's selling on my name at this point; I think it's selling on the music ... which makes me proudest of all. I deeply believe in this music and the musicians. They've been very kind, and they seem appreciative that the music is reaching an audience that the bluegrass world doesn't usually reach."
When asked how he kept all the balls in the air being blessed with so many talents, Steve was a bit philosophical. "I wish I did one thing," he told The Boot. "It would be a much more defined career, and people would probably understand me better if I did one thing. Crossing over can work against you. For example, I think I was very lucky with this album that I'm not being condemned for it. A lot of actors form rock bands, they're sort of the butt of people's jokes. But I just do what comes into my mind. I've just never inhibited myself from trying something new."
"'Rare Bird Alert' represents an intense, but joyful period of songwriting and touring. My love of this music continues," says Steve.
'Rare Bird Alert' is scheduled for release on March 15, 2011, via Rounder Records.