Steve Martin Wins Bluegrass Award

On September 29th, the International Bluegrass Music Association named Steve Martin Entertainer of the Year for his recent performance with his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Martin accepted the award by leaping in the air and saying, “I want to thank the other nominees -- and thank them for losing.” Also on the 22nd Annual awards show, Martin’s band played “Me and Paul Revere,” a song that gives voice to Paul Revere’s horse.

Mr. Martin began playing professionally again two years ago, although he dabbled in the craft for the past decade. Earl Scruggs, the man credited as the creator of the sound of Bluegrass in 1945, recorded the song, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” with Martin in 2001, winning them a Grammy. The Steep Canyon Ranger’s second record, released on March 15th this year, Rare Bird Alert holds a superior position on the Bluegrass album for the 28th consecutive week.

In 2010, Martin created his own banjo award, the “Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.” He compiled a group of board members including banjo musicians and musicologists to select a note-worthy banjo talent. The prize is an unrestricted check for fifty thousand dollars. On November 5th last year, Mr. Martin appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and said, “the level of musicianship has risen so high… they should get some recognition “ of his motivation to publicly distinguish banjo talent. Steve Martin may be a Bluegrass Award winner, however his goal to praise the talent of others remains.

MiscKatie Hay