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Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers

I went with Elle to see Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers at a local auditorium last night. We had seen them and enjoyed them at Merlefest last year, and when Elle heard they were playing in town she got us tickets.

I was at the coffee shop earlier that day, and I ran into my old friend Nancy. We exchanged pleasantries and I told her about the show. She asked if I was going with anybody and I told her I was going with a lady. She was all excited that I was going out with an actual female, and picked me some flowers from a nearby flowerpot to give to her. She asked me what I was going to wear and I said "gray pants...and a clean shirt." I must say though, Nancy inspired me to wear some nicer shoes than the worn out tennis shoes I usually sport. These were also my only other pair of shoes.

I thought it was really adorable the way Nancy thought it was so adorable that I had a date.

Elle arrived and I gave her the flowers that Nancy picked me. I thought for sure she would figure out they were someone else's idea. And I knew that if she voiced any suspicion I would spill my guts. I always do in these situations because I am terrible at lying. But she was none the wiser. (Although she will be if she reads this entry.) She asked me if I could drive to the concert because she was nervous about noises her car was making. I  was of course quite happy to, in spite of my car being a mess. As I have said before, nothing makes me feel more like a man than having a lady in the passenger seat of  my car, and I especially love it when that lady is Elle.

The concert was great. Steve Martin does a good job of blending comedy in with the music. He has a nice schtick going on of him being the clueless Hollywood bigshot and the band being  resentful underlings. He spoke of the camaraderie on the tour bus, and then added "I know about this because they tell me about it when I call from my private jet."  Probably more indicative of their actual relationship was his remark that "they aren't exactly my band...it's more like I'm their celebrity." (The Steep Canyon Rangers had been around before they hooked up with Steve Martin.)

They did a couple of songs I remembered from Merlefest, including the spiritual "I Can't Sit Down" and (in an interesting juxtaposition) their big hit (well, for them) "Atheists Ain't Got No Songs". Most of the songs were originals.

The encore was quite good. The first two songs were about trains. This sounds like boilerplate bluegrass, but the first was a W.H Auden poem Martin had set to music. The second was "Orange Blossom Special", which is always a treat. When they were at Merlefest the fiddler inserted a quote from Sabre Dance in his solo, and tonight I caught that and a lot of other interesting quotes, include "Norwegian Wood", Beethoven's 9th symphony, and "The Barber of Seville". They closed with King Tut.

It was a great show. The encore alone was worth the price of admission. I want to see them again, hopefully with Elle, who always makes fun events even more enjoyable.
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