Steve Martin is coming back to Los Angeles as he continues to tour following his recent bluegrass album, The Crow. I had the chance to see him perform when he came through town in May, playing Club Nokia. I went with a friend who is more of a bluegrass connoisseur than myself, and we were both impressed with Martin and his touring band, the Steep Canyon Rangers.
The show kicked off with an interview segment where columnist/author/humorist Dave Barry spoke with Martin about his career and the album. Martin still has the dry wit that made him famous, and he peppers that throughout his performance.
I knew he'd played banjo for a long time, but you go in and see The Jerk up there and when you start hearing virtuoso musicianship coming from his hands, it can take you aback. There's a sprinkling of comedy in his songs with lyrics, but it's largely serious, quality music that's still joyful.
If you get a chance to catch one of his shows this week or in the future, I'd highly recommend it. You can also pick up his album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo or check out his performance from this past June on A Prairie Home Companion.
Photo: Steve Martin performs at Club Nokia on May 11, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)