Steve Martin—known to boomers as “The Jerk,” to hipsters as the jerk opposite Claire Danes in “Shop Girl” and, more recently, to your kid sister as Inspector Clouseau—is an accomplished banjoist. According to the New York Times, in the country/bluegrass community, Martin is an esteemed master of the difficult clawhammer playing style. Martin told the Times that his banjoing, perhaps overshadowed by his movie stardom, has been unintentionally kept on the down low for quite a while.
Well, it’s high time we heard what else he can do with those fingers, besides spin dark comedies about lovable misfits (“The Pleasure of My Company,” “Shop Girl,” etc.). Fans intrigued by Martin’s first musical hit, 1978’s “King Tut,” can purchase his new album “The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo” exclusively at Amazon.com until April 26, after which it will be available elsewhere.
The album is as much a tribute to bluegrass music as a testament to the creative talents of the oft-underrated Martin.