Back when Steve Martin was just another screwball trying to figure out what comedy was about and how he fit in, he decided a way out of anonymity might be playing the banjo after hearing Foggy Mountain Breakdown, made famous in the movie Bonnie and Clyde. At age 18, I had absolutely no gifts, he wrote in his autobiography Born Standing Up. I could not sing or dance, and the only acting I did was really just shouting. So hed sit in his sweltering carthe better to spare the neighborsand slowly pick out bluegrass on his banjo. The rest, as they say if they wanna condense one of the most iconoclastic careers in the American arts into a word that can barely connect the guy who did The Jerk to the guy who did Picasso At the Lapin Agileas well as the new bluegrass album Rare Bird, featuring the Dixie Chicks and Paul McCartneyis history.
Thu., Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2011