Play it, Steve!!

Steve Martin strums a bluegrass album
In his stand-up act, Steve Martin often joked that “you can’t play a sad song on the banjo.”
But the comedian/actor/musician writes in the liner notes of his first full-length bluegrass album, “I knew the banjo had a capacity for mournful melodies and the ‘high, lonesome sound.’ As I was sometimes mournful, sometimes lonesome and sometimes sad, this suited me perfectly.”
Martin, a banjo player for 45 years, spent nearly that long crafting tunes for The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, available Jan. 27 exclusively at for the first 90 days.
Produced by high school friend John McEuen, Crow contains 14 originals plus Clawhammer Medley (with Red Is the Rose, Sally Ann, Johnson Boys and others). The title track, first recorded for Tony Trischka’s 2007 album, climbed the bluegrass charts to become Martin’s second hit (after King Tut).
Vince Gill and Dolly Parton share vocals on Pretty Flowers. Mary Black sings on Calico Train. Actor Eugene Levy plays guitar on Tin Roof, and Earl Scruggs appears on Daddy Played the Piano.
Martin will unveil Crow material as host of Saturday Night Live Jan. 31.
Presumably, the banjo won’t figure into his reprise of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther 2, opening Feb. 6.