Once again Steve Martin has tapped the award-winning bluegrass group the Steep Canyon Rangers to tour with him in support of his GrammyÂ®-winning Rounder Records release, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo. The Banjo Tour will begin on April 19th in Detroit and is expected to continue into October, with performances scheduled at the New Orleans JazzFest, MerleFest and Bonnaroo.
â€œI am very excited to begin my banjo tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers,â€ commented Martin. â€œIt has been a long time dream of mine to travel around the country with a bunch of guys.â€
Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers commented, â€œWe had an incredible time touring with Steve in the fall. Heâ€™s a consummate professional who thrills the crowd every night and is so gracious about introducing us and our music to new audiences.â€
For their part, the Rangers also earned rave reviews while on tour with Martin in the fall, during which they had an opportunity to perform songs from their fourth studio album for Rebel Records, Deep in the Shade. The tour included performances at the 20th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Ryman Auditorium, Royal Festival Hall in London, and other venues in cities including Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, Washington, Toronto, Chicago, Denver and Santa Fe. The Rangers also performed with Martin on The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, NPRâ€™s World CafÃ©, and the BBCâ€™s Later . . . with Jools Holland.
â€œWhen Martin graciously left the stage to the group for several songs, the Rangers went into overdrive, mixing dazzling speed with high lonesome harmonies. Nicky Sandersâ€™ blazing fiddle playing repeatedly stole the show, especially during an encore rendition of the bluegrass standard â€˜Orange Blossom Special.â€™â€
The Chicago Tribune
â€œabsolutely smoking . . . the musical highlight was the Steep Canyon Rangersâ€™ â€˜Lovinâ€™ Pretty Women,â€™ a stomping barnburner.â€
The Boston Herald
Deep in the Shade, released in October 2009, was in the top 10 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart for the month of October, attaining the band’s highest Billboard chart position at #3. It was #2 on WNCW’s top 50 CD’s of 2009, #7 on Country Standard Time’s list of the top 30 CD’s of 2009, and top 10 on PopMatters’ Best Bluegrass of 2009 list. Deep in the Shade was the #1 CD for the month of December in Bluegrass Music Profiles.
â€œThe Mountainâ€™s Gonna Singâ€ from Deep in the Shade was included in NPR Musicâ€™s Best of 2009 series, in the Folk Alley top 10.
Steve Martin 2010 Banjo Tour Dates with the Steep Canyon Rangers – more dates to be announced:
April 19 Detroit, MI Orchestra Hall of Max M. Fisher Music Center
April 20 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
April 22 Kansas City, MO Midland Theatre
April 23 St. Louis, Mo Roberts Orpheum Theatre*exclusively available
Via KETC-TV until 3/20 Ticketmaster on sale
April 24 Fayetteville, AR Walton Arts Center
April 25 Austin, TX Long Center PAC
April 26 Stafford, TX Stafford Center
April 28 Lake Charles, LA Ross Hart Theatre/Fiddlinâ€™ Around on the Prairie
April 29 New Orleans, LA Jazz Fest
May 1 Wilkesboro, NC MerleFest
June 10 Greenville, SC Peace Center for Performing Arts
June 11 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival
For additional information on the Steep Canyon Rangers, including tour schedule, visit www.steepcanyon.com.