Ever eclectic, Martin took the time to record a banjo album, and when the John McKuen-produced Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo appeared from Rounder Records in 2009, it showed he was no slouch on the instrument, and the album further revealed Martin’s immense and versatile talent. Martin supported its release by hitting the road with the Steep Canyon Rangers, who served as his backup band.
A bluegrass band at their core, the Steep Canyon Rangers effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra. They’re as danceable as the most progressive, party-oriented string band, and equally comfortable translating their songs for accompaniment by a full symphony.
The collaboration was warmly received and led to the release of 2011’s Rare Bird Alert, which featured Martin as a temporary member of the Steep Canyon Rangers and included guest appearances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks. Love Has Come for You, a collaboration with Edie Brickell that featured her lyrics and singing over Martin’s banjo-composed melodies, appeared in the spring of 2013. Reaching number one on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, Love Has Come for You was a major success, spawning a tour — documented on a 2014 live set — and a sequel, So Familiar, which appeared in October 2015.
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers are available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.