Encore: Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers and Sarah Jarosz

Here at Austin City Limits, bluegrass is no stranger to the stage, but rarely do we see it performed by two diverse and equally talented singer/songwriters: the one and only, banjo-picking Steve Martin and the young rising star Sarah Jarosz. Tune in this encore episode on Saturday to experience the old-time tradition performed in a way that you’ve never seen.

“It has been a longtime dream of mine to play bluegrass on Austin City Limits…and tonight I feel I am one step closer to that goal,”  joked comedian/author/actor Steve Martin after opening with the instrumental and fast-paced “Pitkin County Turnaround.” Joined onstage by current Grammy nominees the Steep Canyon Rangers, the supremely talented quintet from North Carolina that’s joined Martin for various festival performances and on record, Martin mainly plays tracks off the 2009 Grammy winning album, The Crow. But he features a song exclusively for atheists –  “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs” is a funny bone-tickling tune that adds to the fictitious Atheist Hymnal and was included on Martin’s latest release Rare Bird Alert. We guarantee that you’ll love it, regardless where you stand on matters of faith.

It was just a matter of time before Sarah Jarosz, described by many as being a “contemporary-bluegrass prodigy,” made her debut here at ACL. With a Grammy nomination under her belt for Best Country Instrumental for her song “Mansinneedof,” it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from this young multi-instrumentalist. You’ll hear tracks from her 2009 debut album, Song Up In Her Head and the beautifully-written track, “My Muse,” from her 2011 release Follow Me Down. Although her original songs were greeted with warm applause and praise, the culmination of the night occurred when Jarosz shared her take on Tim O’Brien’s, “Lands End / Chasin’ Talon,” and Tom Wait’s “Come On Up to the House.”

photo by Scott Newton

Be prepared to laugh at Martin’s humor and be blown away by Jarosz’s young yet uncommonly wise talent. Check your local listings for showtimes to see this episode and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our newsletter to keep up with updates on tapings and airings. Tune in next week for alternative rock supergroup, Monsters of Folk!