Good morning to you! Bacon and eggs are on the griddle and coffee is brewing. A rooster crows and a banjo serenades your bright-eyed morning. Today is going to be a good day, it’s Saturday!
Well it’s not really Saturday, but every time I play Steve Martin‘s 2009 debut album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, my day just gets brighter and feels more like a weekend morning with nothing to do but lay around. All smiles, Thomas runs around our bedroom bouncing to the twang of an instrument most kids haven’t even seen, much less enjoy. The banjo harks a simpler time where face time meant something entirely different.
Bluegrass and the banjo have a special place in my heart even though this born and raised California girl has no real country connections. Last year, Roger and I had the opportunity to see 80 plus year old Ralph Stanley who is known in the bluegrass world for his claw hammer technique of strumming a banjo. Although a legendary experience to just be there, Ralph was not at his prime, only able to play a handful of tunes. The rest of the show was filled with other guitarists, fiddlists and banjo players that were thrilled to be on stage with the man who they idolized.
A man of diverse talents, Steve Martin has mastered comedic and dramatic acting, magic and the banjo. This little known trait has now become another reason for me to love the guy.
The highlights of this album include the first track, “Daddy Played the Banjo” where you soak in the concept that Steve, who late in life does not have children, seeks to inspire children to love the banjo and inspire music in their lives. Tears well. I smile.
“Late for School” is the only song on the album where Steve Martin sings. His candid voice races as he picks up the speed of his fingers picking the strings while telling a childhood story of being “late to school.” The stress of running late bring flutters to my tummy as I recall the days where I rode my bike to school in combination with my perpetual lateness (even now). Some things never change.
Currently, Steve is touring the country with the Steep Canyon Rangers with one of the most hilarious riders ever written. I wish they were coming to San Diego, but I understand that we are only the 8th largest city that happens to be located in the worst physical location to reach for touring purposes. However, for Steve that may not be the case since the only California dates he as on his tour schedule is Davis… hmmm.
Aside from this eclectic taste in tour stops, the album is wonderfully delicious. You must taste this charming album that should have been on my 2009 albums of the year (if I hadn’t been so delayed in purchasing). It really is truly wonderful and just as advertised.