WUMB June Program Guide

My Personal Soundtrack to these Times

Except for coming to WUMB to host the midday program, and occasional visits to the grocery store, I’m hunkered down. It can be stressful and at times lonely.  One day, I came across a short video posted on social media that lifted my spirits and has become my quarantine soundtrack. The video was Steve Martin (actor, writer, comedian, musician) in the woods, playing a beautiful banjo interlude. It would turn out to be one of many banjo balms he would post on his social media sites. Already being a big fan of his songwriting and banjo playing, I was so happy to feel this connection to music I love but has seemed so far away with our current circumstances. 

Martin has released many records, The Crow, a solo record, two studio albums with Steep Canyon Rangers, a live record with the Rangers and two with his songwriting partner Edie Brickell. I recommend all of them! He’s a consummate Scruggs-style player and also clawhammer-style player. Those of us that remember his comedy from the 1970’s know he’s been playing the banjo for over 50 years. He walked away from comedy at the height of his popularity and seems to be living his best life, at age 74, writing lovely bluegrass songs and touring with Steep Canyon Rangers from North Carolina. They are naturals together, as shown in the companion DVD of a performance in Riverside California captured on their Live cd.

Find the things that keep you connected to family, friends and the arts. For me, it’s turned out to be banjo music! Perhaps it’s the unique way that particular  instrument can sound happy and melancholy all at the same time. Highs and lows are certainly the soundtrack to these very strange times, but there will  be brighter days ahead. Stay well!

~ Randi

Here are some clips to make you smile!

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