Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Sunday, September 25, 2005

Straight from the New Yorker Festival

Emily Gordon, of emdashes and all things New Yorker, attended Steve's banjo do last night at the New Yorker Festival. Go to this site to read the entire post and see a nice pic. But here is an excerpt:

So was it the greatest night of my life?

Earl Scruggs,Pete Wernick,Steve Martin

It was pretty damn great. Seeing and hearing Earl Scruggs and Steve Martin (pictured, with Pete Wernick; all the musicians there were fantastic) playing banjo together did indeed turn out to be sublime, as sad as Martin happily advertised the banjo sound to be, and transforming for an audience that needed some lullabies. I found myself tearing up again, but not about mortality—just in that pleasurable/bemused wrench of recognition because the songs tap into such essential human problems, states of mind that don't have much to do with trivia, posturing, or irony. Plus, it was sweet to see New Yorkers left so in the dark about steamboat paddle-wheel and fox-hunt imagery. For once, we aren't the last word. I think it was like a little vacation to feel that way for a few hours. I wished my mom, who introduced me to all of this great music, could've seen it, but I recorded a tiny bit of "Earl's Breakdown" on my phone (sorry!) to play for her. The crowd, afterward, echoed my thoughts: Isn't it something that Steve Martin, who writes plays and acts and contributes to the art world and seems to do everything so thoughtfully and stylishly, decided to learn this incredibly difficult instrument as well, submitting happily to the ribbing of his superiors? Huh. Cool guy.



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