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Rare Bird Alert

4.7 out of 5 stars 284 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 15, 2011
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Rare Bird Alert
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  • The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo
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  • Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell Live [CD/DVD Combo]
Total price: $38.75
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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from Grammy and Emmy winning actor, comedian ,musician and bestselling author Steve Martin. On Rare Bird Alert, Steve is joined by the Steep Canyon Rangers, who toured extensively with Martin over the last year. Following the success of the Grammy Award winning The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, Rare Bird Alert features 13 new Martin-penned tracks, including a live version of King Tut, and was produced by Tony Trishka. Sir Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chick make special guest vocal appearances on the album. Martin co-wrote two of the CD's songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers.
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Digital Booklet: Rare Bird Alert
Digital Booklet: Rare Bird Alert
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B004K7M73M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on March 15, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Steve Martin continues his career as a blue grass singer. This time he teams up with a five man band from North Carolina who call themselves the Steep Canyon Rangers. These guys can really play and sing. They harmonize so well on the track "More Bad Weather On The Way". This song has only one line of lyric, but the musical instruments playing on it is superb. The disc contains upbeat tracks like "Rare Bird Alert" and "Hide Behind A Rock". These songs are blue grass in the most pure form. I am blown away by the way the guys of Steep Canyon Rangers play the banjo. These two tracks put me in a good mood. I love the humor in the songs on this disc. My favorite track is "Jubliation Day". This is the funniest break up song I have ever heard. "Atheists Don't Have No Songs" is a very funny song about music and observations about religion. My other favorite track is the instrumental tune "The Great Remember". The fiddle playing by Nicky Sanders gives this song a romantic tone that I really like. Paul McCartney lends his vocal talents on the track "Best Love". This track stands out for me. It is the first bluegrass love song I have ever heard. "Yellow Backed Fly" is another enjoyable tune. This song is about the simple joy of fishing. This song has a visual quality that I enjoy. The Dixie Chicks lend their talents on the lovely track "You". The guys harmonize so well on the tune "Women Like To Slow Dance". This song has a spirit of a hoe down. This song is very fun. "Rare Bird Alert" will turn more listeners into fans of blue grass music. I really like this music.
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Format: Audio CD
The Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC, annually hosts the Mountain Song Festival. The lead act and one of the main sponsors is the Steep Canyon Rangers, a well-known and loved blue grass group from the area and known to the locals as "The Steeps." During the 2008 Festival, the first that I attended, the Steeps were a few minutes into their second show when lead singer Woody Platt announced that there was an "older guy" backstage who said he could play the banjo and wanted to sit in with the band for a song or two. From between the back curtains walked Steve Martin. The crowd went absolutely wild - the people seated out on the lawn began quickly moving towards the stage - all were clapping and screaming like a bunch of teenaged girls at a Back Street Boys concert, which they were not since the average age in the crowd had to be well north of 50. What followed was a superb performance showing not only Martin's skills on the banjo but the vast musical skills of each member of the Steeps.

This phenomenally talented group continues to display those skills in the CD "Rare Bird Alert." The title song and "Northern Island" feature their instrumental talents and there is some remarkable acapella singing in "Atheists Don't Have No Songs" - not to mention they are joined by Sir Paul McCartney whose unmistakable voice provides the lead vocals in "Best Love." And today, St. Patrick's Day, Steve, Woody, Nicky, Mike, Charley, and Graham were guests on The View.

What a great story all around! What's next? Don't know but plan to enjoy the ride to find out.
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Format: Audio CD
A strong collection of music from start to finish. My immediate favorites are Jubilation Day for its humor and the Great Remember, for its beauty and sadness. Buy the CD instead of downloading...the illustrations and booklet are fantastic. You'll read every word and study every illustration.
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Format: Audio CD
Many folks thought that comedian/actor/author/art expert Steve Martin's first bluegrass album was a "one shot thing". It was (and is) a highly entertaining album. Martin, who was playing banjo in his stand-up comedy act early in his career, hooked up with the North Carolina bluegrass band, The Steep Canyon Rangers at a music festival and they've been touring ever since.

Well, The Crow - that first CD - was not a fluke. Martin and "the Steeps" are back with this new album. Martin wrote nine of the 13 tracks here and co-wrote the rest with the band. Four of the songs are instrumentals (and one, More Bad Weather on the Way", could be considered as such, since the only lyrics are the words in the title). The pace is both fast and slow (the beautiful instrumental, "The Great Remember" is the latter). And while most of the album was recoded in the studio, the last three tracks - including the very funny "Atheists Don't Have No Songs" and a bluegrass version of Martin's pop hit "King Tut"- were recorded live in concert. Martin calls on a few "celebrities to attract the non-bluegrass audience. The Dixie Chicks get lead vocals on "You" and Sir Paul McCartney does the honors on "Best Love". Surely these tracks will find a lot of fans of these artists doing single downloads of these tracks, but maybe, just maybe, their fans will be introduced to this down-home style of music.

The handsomely illustrated booklet inserted in the CD sleeve has liner notes on each song by Martin (with a nod - more than once - to his forthcoming movie - The Big Year). No lyrics are included, but are probably on a website somewhere.

I really liked this CD, though I can't say I liked it more than The Crow. But both are five stars in my opinion. So, if you have the first album, run to get this one. If you don't have that one, feel free to start here and work backwards.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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