Steve Martin, one of the most diversified performers in the motion picture industry todayactor, comedian, author, playwright, producer, musician has been successful as a writer of and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history. Martin released his second full length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert on Rounder Records on March 15, 2011. He is joined by the Steep Canyon Rangers, who toured extensively with Martin over the last year. Rare Bird Alert features 13 new Martin-penned tracks, including a live version of King Tut, and was produced by Tony Trishka.
Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks make special guest vocal appearances on the album. Martin co-wrote two of the CDs songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Since becoming involved in the modern bluegrass scene, Martin has been impressed with the overall level of musicianship that exists in the world of the professional and semi-professional player. As such, in 2010, Martin established The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, an annual award which brings recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music. In its inaugural year, the award was presented to Noam Pikelny. Martin published his second childrens book on September 8th 2010. Narrated with wit and charm getting to school has never been quite this difficult--or hilarious.
Steve Martin and illustrator C. F. Payne teamed up to tell a story of the adventure, danger, and laughs of the journey to school. Enclosed with the book is a CD of Martin on banjo and vocals, singing the book's story with a bluegrass twist. For his adult audience, Martins latest novel An Object of Beauty was released on November 23rd 2010. Sharing his knowledge of the 1990s New York arts scene, Martin tells the story of Lacey Yeager, a captivating, and ambitious young woman who takes the NYC art world by storm. Earlier this year, Martin completed production on The Big Year directed by David Frankel and costarring Owen Wilson and Jack Black. The comedy is set to be released by 20th Century Fox in October 2011, and sees Martin as a member of a group of avid bird watchers competing to spot the rarest birds in North America at an annual esteemed event. In March of 2010, Martin, along with Alec Baldwin, co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards his third time serving as host of the prestigious award show. He received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his participation. On January 31st, 2010, Steve Martin's banjo album, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String Banjo, won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.