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Editors’ Notes

After proving that his banjo playing is no joke on 2009’s The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, comedian and actor Steve Martin joined forces with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a tour, which led to their collaboration on Rare Bird Alert. Martin’s name may be listed first and he is the main songwriter, but this is truly a group effort. No mere backing band, the celebrated Steep Canyon Rangers have been together for a decade and have six fine albums to their credit and they all sound spectacular together. Martin sings on the joke-filled “Jubilation Day,” “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs,” and the novelty hit “King Tut,” but it’s mostly his banjo we hear within the context of this excellent bluegrass band. Graham Sharp is the Ranger’s top-notch banjo player and he usually takes the second banjo breaks on this album. The warm tenor of Woody Platt is the other lead singer, and there are also lead vocal cameos by Paul McCartney (“Best Love”) and the Dixie Chicks (“You”). Rounding things out are some impressive instrumentals including the title track, “The Great Remember (for Nancy),” and “Hide Behind a Rock.”

Customer Reviews

Rare Bird Alert

Best Heavy Metal album of the year!!

This Albums fun and great!

All I can say is buy this album! Full of energy! Great Job Steve Martin and Band!!!!!

crow fan falls in love with rare birds

Kudos to this fantastic, inventive ensemble of acoustic magicians. Well worth the price!


Formed: 1999 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although they received a boost in popularity when actor/banjo player Steve Martin joined their ranks in 2009, the Steep Canyon Rangers had already earned an audience with their progressive bluegrass sound. Graham Sharp (banjo, harmony vocals) met future bandmates Woody Platt (guitar, lead vocals) and Charles R. Humphrey III (bass, harmony vocals) in 1999, while all three were attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Drawn together by their love of acoustic music, they began playing...
Full bio
Rare Bird Alert, Steep Canyon Rangers
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Customer Ratings