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The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo

The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo

by Steve Martin Steve Martin
The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo

The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo

by Steve Martin Steve Martin




First off, there's no "King Tut" here, and this isn't Steve Martin with an arrow through his head using the five-string banjo as a prop and trying to be funny. The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo is exactly what the title says it is -- it's a banjo album, spotlighting Martin originals on the instrument (of the 16 tracks, all but one are his own compositions). And guess what? Martin is pretty good at the banjo, and this is no vanity project. Tracks like the stirring and revealing "Daddy Played the Banjo," the blisteringly kinetic "Hoedown at Alice's," the very pretty "Freddie's Lilt," and the expansive, even beautifully ornate "Calico Train" (there are two versions here) not only wouldn't seem out of place on any progressive bluegrass album, they'd probably be the best cuts on it. Martin has a lot of help, yes, from the likes of Mary Black, Vince Gill, Tim O'Brien, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs (Scruggs' presence here should tell you something about Martin's playing chops), Tony Trischka, and Pete Wernick, and the album is lovingly produced by John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but make no mistake, this is completely Martin's album and it's his vision all the way. He even takes a very successful shot at frailing the banjo with the lovely and modal "Clawhammer Medley," the one non-original here. Everyone knows that Martin can be very funny, but The Crow isn't a joke. It's a first-class banjo album. One wonders if entering an archery tournament is next on this talented performer's agenda. Here's guessing Martin's probably pretty good at that, too.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/19/2009
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661064720
catalogNumber: 610647
Rank: 7984


  1. Daddy Played the Banjo
  2. Pitkin County Turnaround
  3. Hoedown at Alice's
  4. Late for School
  5. Tin Roof
  6. Words Unspoken
  7. Pretty Flowers
  8. Wally on the Run
  9. Freddie's Lilt
  10. Saga of the Old West
  11. Clawhammer Medley
  12. Calico Train
  13. Banana Banjo
  14. Blue River Waltz
  15. The Crow
  16. Calico Train

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Martin   Primary Artist,Banjo,Vocals
Russ Barenberg   Guitar
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Earl Scruggs   Banjo
Tony Trischka   Banjo
Dolly Parton   Vocals
Pete Wernick   Banjo
Mary Black   Vocals
David Amram   Percussion,Wind Instruments
John McEuen   Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Bass
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Vince Gill   Vocals
Kenny Malone   Percussion
Tim O'Brien   Vocals
Bruce Martin   Percussion,Tabla,Bodhran
Matt Flinner   Mandolin
Craig Eastman   Fiddle,Octave Violin
Liam Óg O'Floinn   uillean pipes,tin whistle,Drones
Chris Caswell   Piano,Accordion,Performing Ensemble
Skip Ward   Acoustic Bass
Brittany Haas   Fiddle
Michael Daves   Guitar
Hans Olson   Harmonica
Jourdan Urbach   Violin

Technical Credits

Steve Martin   Composer,Liner Notes
Pete Wernick   Composer
John McEuen   Producer,Audio Production
Dae Bennett   Engineer
Pat McMakin   Engineer
Salli Ratts   Artwork
George Tutko   Engineer
Michael Manning   Engineer
Ciaran Byrne   Engineer
Billy Robinson   Engineer
Rob Clark   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Travis Stefl   Engineer
Bill Harmon   Photo Courtesy
Johnnie Truesdale   Engineer

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