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Steve Martin's Beloved Banjo

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Actor, comedian and musician Steve Martin is part of a new documentary called “Give Me the Banjo.” He’ll give us a lesson about his favorite instrument when he joins us on the show. Plus: More banjo, when we catch up with the composer (and banjoist) Jayme Stone. And: Eric Bachmann and his band Crooked Fingers perform live in our studio.

The Wild and Crazy Banjo

Since releasing his first bluegrass album three years ago, actor and comedian Steve Martin has earned critical acclaim – and a Grammy – for his skills with the banjo. Now, he’s exploring the history of the instrument, and issues of race, class and musical innovation, in a new PBS documentary called “Give Me the Banjo.” Martin joins us in studio (with a banjo on his knee).

"Give Me the Banjo" airs tomorrow night, Nov. 4, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations.

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Banjo Reaction: Jayme Stone

Canadian banjo player and composer Jayme Stone reacts to our conversation with Steve Martin.

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In Studio: Crooked Fingers

Led by former Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann, Crooked Fingers returns with a new album called “Breaks in the Armor.” The band brings its dark Americana to the studio for a live performance.


Mucca Pazza

Gig Alert: Mucca Pazza

Mucca Pazza, the rollicking, high-energy 30-piece group from Chicago, plays the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center for free on Thursday night. Download "Bump" here, which has a Balkan folksy flavor to it.