Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Steve Martin brings bluegrass tour back to LA

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)