December 28, 2010
Tip of the old scrub brush to Disciple/Methodist David Bates, with whom I used to enjoy singing bass on the back row of the choir.
From a 2010 production of Austin City Limits, Steve Martin joins the Steep Canyon Rangers in an a capella singing of the entire atheist hymnal.
Atheists have a very witty lyricist.
Update: “Austin City Limits” asserted its copyright on that version (might be available at their website). Here’s the song from a handheld camera at Merlefest, courtesy of Freedom Tuners:
Also via Boing-Boing; credit where credit is due.
November 17, 2007
Comedian Steve Martin has a couple of new books out, and the New York Times tracked him down for an interview. One may learn a lot from these interviews. In this case, we learn how far is the reach of Pete Seeger’s banjo, and the reach of instruction:
His [Steve Martin's] early acts were a hodgepodge — some juggling, some magic, some balloon tricks, some banjo-playing — and to a great extent his style remained eclectic, with the crucial addition of irony; the act became in some ways the parody of an act, with no punch lines, and audiences found it even funnier.
“It was a great discovery,” Mr. Martin said. “There I was making fun of what I was doing, and yet I was still getting to do it.”
The only relic Mr. Martin keeps from those days is his banjo, which he taught himself to play as a teenager from a Pete Seeger instruction book, practicing alone in his car with windows rolled up even on hot summer nights. Waiting for the knock on the trailer door, and the summons to don his epaulets and marry again, he picked up the banjo and played a bluegrass song he had been learning. “When I play music, it’s like an alternate form of living,” he said.