Picking on Steve Martin

The comedian-slash-musician shows off his banjoistic twang at three Rubin Museum shows, kicking off tonight.

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    Contestant Megan Joy, comedian Steve Martin and contestant Michael Sarver perform onstage during the American Idol Season 8 Grand Finale.

    To be frank, even if Steve Martin was a middling musician, he'd probably sell out all three performances at the Rubin Museum this week on the strength of his cult following (for everything from acting to his New Yorker essays) alone. But he's not. Martin has been a spectacularly gifted banjo player since his early stand-up days, when he incorporated picking into his act. With the recent release of his album The Crow -- including olde-tyme songs penned by the man himself -- he's taking this side project to a whole new level (case in point: that was him on the American Idol finale, backing a pair of eliminated contestants who duetted on one of his compositions. Dude means business.). Still, his trademark wit is never far away: The concert, performed with the Steep Canyon Rangers, is titled "A Tentative Evening Of Bluegrass." Very Steve Martin, that.

    Details:
    A Tentative Evening Of Bluegrass: Steve Martin Performing With The Steep Canyon Rangers
    Weds. 5/27 9:15PM; Sun. 6/28 6:45 and 9:15PM
    Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17 Street at 7 Avenue; (212) 620-5000
    $50
    More Info: Website