Paste is thrilled to present Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers Friday afternoon in our New York Studio with a live broadcast streaming on the Paste Music/Daytrotter Facebook page. Martin and the Rangers are on the road behind their brand new album, the aptly titled The Long-Awaited Album, and they’ll visit Paste on Friday at 2:45 p.m. Eastern (11:45 a.m. Pacific) to play some selections from the record and talk about bluegrass, banjo, and whatever else comes to mind.
The Long-Awaited Album marks the second recorded collaboration between Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers, following 2011’s Grammy-nominated Rare Bird Alert. Martin has also showcased his evolving picking style on two albums with Edie Brickell, as well as in the 2016 Broadway musical “Bright Star,” based on the duo’s music. He’s also a fairly well-known actor and comedy performer.
“As the years have gone on, I’ve been more of a writer and have paid a lot of attention to storytelling, and am always looking for experience in it,” Martin told Paste recently. “I do feel comfortable telling stories in a three-minute song.”
Martin, who turned 72 in August, has developed his versatility on the banjo over an adulthood of playing, not least when he made it a central character in his classic ‘70s stand-up act with strange ditties like “Dueling Banjos for One Banjo.” (Check out this amazing video of an unknown Martin playing banjo with the late Glen Campbell in 1969.) His first all-music solo album, 2009’s The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Performance.
Martin told Paste that in recent years, “bluegrass’s role has become much more open to experiments,” and insisted that there’s ample room for innovation in the genre, as well as with the banjo itself. Read our recent interview with Martin here, and be sure to tune in Friday at 2:45 p.m. on Paste Music/Daytrotter Facebook.
Listen to “Caroline,” from The Long-Awaited Album, below.