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Opening Arguments

Pick it, Steve

I've always been impressed by people who have talent in more than one area. And I have so much respect for people who can create music. So I'm especially awed by those who succeed in one field but probably could have done well in music, too. Politicians like Bill Clinton and his saxophone and Condi Rice and her piano. Comedian Jack Benny and his violin. NBA great Oscar Robinson with his flute.

If we were putting together a band of actors, we could have Kevin Bacon on guitar, Clint Eastwood on piano, Woody Allen on clarinet, and I don't know who else, but we'd absolutely have to have Steve Martin on banjo, which is the point of this post.

Many of us remember Martin's early career as a comedian, with that stupid arrow through his head, fooling around with the banjo and saying, "EXCUUUSE me!" But he started playing banjo in high school and has become a bluegrass virtuoso, appearing on the Grand Ol' Opry, playing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with Earl Scruggs and creating his own album, "The Crow." There is one non-original piece -- a medley of clawhammer-style songs. The rest were composed by Steve Martin. Below is a link to the title song. It is just exquisite, subtle and haunting. And catch the violin solo.

Posted in: All about me, Film, Music


Bob G.
Wed, 01/20/2010 - 10:05am

I was fortunate enough to see Martin in the (now gone) Latin Casino (dinner theater) in NJ ages ago...when he was just getting famous, and that boy CAN play the banjo like NOBODY'S business!!!
Lester Flatt...move it on over!
I think Martin was Alison Krauss's muse...LOL

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 11:02pm

"The Crow" is a great record, and Martin is a really good banjo player. But it's Clint Eastwood who impresses me most, going from iconic actor to director of really quality movies and composing the scores to Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Oh, yeah, and he was mayor of Carmel.