WANT TO GO?
With Steep Canyon Rangers, Vieux Farka Toure, Robbie Fulks, Mason Jennings and The Greencards.
WHERE: Culture Center Theater
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: Advance $15, at the door $25
INFO: 800-594-TIXX or www.mountainstage.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When comedian Steve Martin went looking for a touring band to support the release of his first bluegrass record, he didn't just go out and get a bunch of hired guns. He listened to his wife, writer Anne Stringfield.
Graham Sharpe, banjo player and songwriter for the Steep Canyon Rangers, said the band and the comedian met through her.
"We knew his wife before they met," Sharpe said. "She was in New York, and we met her through our guitar player's brother. She was kind of a friend of the band."
Sharpe, who performs with his band on Sunday's "Mountain Stage," said she put in a good word for them around the time Martin's first bluegrass record, "The Crow," came out.
"He wanted to tour the record," Sharpe said. "One show became a couple of shows became a world tour became doing a couple of records together."
And there's no real sign of stopping.
This summer, the bluegrass band went out on the road with Martin and singer Edie Brickell, who co-wrote the record "Love Has Come For You" with the actor.
"We had a good time."
He said the Steep Canyon Rangers have had a remarkable few years with Martin. Playing alongside the comedian-turned-movie star-turned bluegrass sensation has led to some great moments, put them in front of crowds who aren't all bluegrass fans and given them the chance to introduce themselves to audiences all over the world.