Steve Martin brings banjo to Vancouver Island

Martin joins collaborator Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers in Victoria and Nanaimo

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell

Comedian and actor Steve Martin will take Vancouver Island stages this spring – this time as a Grammy-winning bluegrass banjoist.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell play The Port Theatre in Nanaimo May 11 and The Royal Theatre in Victoria May 12. The concerts will showcase Martin and Brickell’s original compositions from Love Has Come for You, their 13-track debut that combine Martin’s five-string banjo work with the Brickell’s vocals.

“This album feels like a giant step into uncharted territory for me,” Martin said in a release. “When we started, we thought we were just playing around. But when we finished, we realized we weren’t.”

The Texas natives collaborated via email, each recording using their phones and tablets.

“I’d write the banjo melodies, and then Edie would take them and write the lyrics and come up with a melody to work against the banjo,” Martin said. “There was a point when we were in such a zone that I was writing a song a day, and the next day I would get the song back from Edie with the lyrics. Looking in my inbox and seeing an attachment from Edie was always like getting a Christmas present.”

Brickell said she’s still “floating” from the experience.

“Steve worked really fast, and every time I turned around there was a new banjo melody coming at me, which was very exciting. The music inspired the lyrics, and the stories came straight out of Steve’s melodies.”

Tickets for the Victoria show are $100.50-$132.50 and are available through rmts.bc.ca on Jan. 24. Tickets for Nanaimo are $146-$165.50 through porttheatre.com. A pre-sale begins on Jan. 21.

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