Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers make perfect harmony at Peace Center

By Donna Isbell Walker • Staff writer • June 11, 2010

Steve Martin’s performance at the Peace Center Thursday night was enough to make a person wonder: Is there anything he can’t do?

He can act, write, make people laugh, win a Grammy for his first bluegrass album. And apparently, he has a pretty good ear for talent.

Playing with Asheville’s Steep Canyon Rangers, Martin said he was “knocked out” when he met them at a party in Brevard. They’re now on their third tour together, with plans to release an album.

And “knocked out” also describes Thursday’s audience, who laughed at Martin’s jokes and offered thundering applause and cheers for the music.

The show opened with a tune Martin introduced as “a song Rolling Stone called a ‘worthwhile illegal download.’” Actually, it was “Pitkin County Turnaround,” from Martin’s album “The Crow,” and the tune’s musicianship set the tone for the whole 105-minute concert.

Martin with his banjo and the five Steep Canyon Rangers blended as seamlessly as if they’d been born to play together. The concert mostly featured Martin’s original tunes, including a standout version of “The Crow,” with a breakdown that gave every musician a chance to shine.

Near the concert’s midpoint, Martin left the stage so that the Steep Canyon Rangers could play a few of their own songs... Read more.

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