The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center will present Grammy Award winners Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell for its 2014 Viva Health Starlight Gala on June 8.
The Viva Health Starlight Gala is Birmingham’s crown jewel of performing arts events. This annual engagement benefits the programs and education initiatives of UAB’s Alys Stephens Center and ensures the center can continue to provide the community with the very best in arts entertainment.
This year the ASC presents an innovative musical duo: Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Brickell. The ensemble will perform songs from its new album, “Love Has Come for You.” The playful performance will showcase original material performed by Martin and Brickell, along with the unique blend of bluegrass and comedy that Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers have been delighting audiences with at their sold-out, critically acclaimed shows.
The show is set for 8 p.m. at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The Contributor ticket package has limited availability remaining; it includes premium seating for the performance and an elegant reception prior to the performance for $125 per person. The Supporter ticket package is sold out. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org. A VIP dinner package is available. For more information, please call 205-934-4012.
“Love Has Come for You” offers 13 eloquently “rootsy” Martin/Brickell compositions that combine the former’s inventive, expressive, five-string banjo work with the latter’s heart-tugging vocals and vivid, detail-rich lyrics. The group kicked off its tour March 14 in California, and aside from a stop in Snowden, Miss., in August, the ASC show in Birmingham is the only show planned for the Deep South. In March, Martin made his first-ever live concert television broadcast, “Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell Live,” on PBS’ “Great Performances.” The Steep Canyon Rangers are known for their stellar performances of original material. They won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2012 for “Nobody Knows You.”
Martin began working with the band after meeting them at a party. He invited the band to tour and record with him. In 2011, their collaboration “Rare Bird Alert” was nominated for a Grammy Award, and later that year, they won IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award. They average about 50 dates a year together, most recently with the addition of special guest Brickell. Martin’s and the band’s collaboration is about consummate musicians creating music about which they are passionate, blending it with humor to form a sophisticated show and exposing legions of new fans to the bluegrass genre, according to the Steep Canyon Rangers website. Their recent appearances include “Austin City Limits,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Today Show,” and performances at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, MerleFest, Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit, as well as their own Mountain Song festival and Mountain Song at Sea cruise.