My Bluegrass Heaven

Photo credit: Jim Bennett

When he’s not busting guts and splitting sides as one of America’s most iconic comedic actors, Steve Martin likes to get his bluegrass on.

The SNL alum and star of such classics as The Jerk, Roxanne, and Three Amigos! is a longtime banjo enthusiast, and has incorporated the instrument into his standup act since the 70s. His 2009 release, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, even won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

Whether you’re a fan of Martin or just love yourself some chicken pickin’, you’ll be happy to know that the funnyman and his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, are playing San Diego’s Balboa Theater on October 9.

Hailing from Brevard, North Carolina, the Steep Canyon Rangers have been putting out mandolin- and fiddle-heavy albums for the last decade. But it wasn’t until a 2009 appearance on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion that they added Martin to the fold. The collaboration was a successful one, and Martin has spent much of the last year accompanying the group on tour, including a stop at June’s Bonnaroo Festival.

When not appearing on stage or screen, Martin can be found embracing new technologies. The 65-year-old just joined Twitter, and his deadpan tweets include “Whoops. Glad no one was in the elevator,” “Forced kid to take my autograph. He was crying. Idiot,” and “Sneezed.” He has also been known to tweet during concerts, using the iPad attached to his microphone stand. The device also doubles as his set list.

Between songs, Martin entertains the crowd with his dry wit and amusing antecdotes. For a taste of the humor you can expect at the show, check out his “leaked” October tour ideas. As an added incentive, if you ask nicely, he just might perform “King Tut.” Tickets for the show can be purchased here.

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