Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will be joined by Edie Brickell for a June performance in Stamford.Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will be joined by Edie Brickell for a June performance in Stamford.

Stamford Center for the Arts has announced that Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell will be the featured artists for the Palace Theatre’s 4th Annual Gala on June 21. Tickets go on sale to SCA members Friday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. and on sale to the general public Friday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. at Gala tickets may be purchased by calling the Development Office at 203-517-3426.

Steve Martin is currently in the fifth decade of a uniquely varied and accomplished career in which he’s excelled as a comedian, actor, author and playwright and as a Grammy-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer. His fellow Texas native Edie Brickell initially burst onto the national scene in the late 1980s fronting the New Bohemians, and has since carved out an iconoclastic solo career that’s solidified her reputation as a uniquely compelling singer and a songwriter of rare insight.

The duo will be releasing a new album entitled Love Has Come for You which is due out this spring. Despite the fact that Martin and Brickell lived on opposite coasts, their working relationship quickly blossomed, with the two writing separately and exchanging digital files via email. The results of the pair’s unconventional co-writing method are both organic and inspired, combining the gentle yet feisty humanity of Brickell’s vocals with the effortless economy for Martin’s banjo work.

“It’s the way I’ve longed to play and hear the banjo for so long, rather than it being present at every moment and playing sixty notes a second,” Martin says. “I think the banjo can be so evocative when it’s used sparingly, and that was in the back of my mind as we were writing. In these songs, the point is to tell the story and get out.”

The collaborative writing method allowed Brickell to channel some personal history that she hadn’t explored previously. “Steve’s banjo melodies brought a sense of my family and my history into the songwriting,” she notes. “I think that the characters in these songs are all me, or at least there’s always some little something in there that’s how I feel and think about things.”

“As time goes on, I grow to appreciate these songs more and more, and to appreciate the great lyrics and incredible narratives that Edie brought to it,” Martin concludes. “I think that the goal of a collaboration should be to come up with something that each individual wouldn’t have come up with on their own, and I think that we’ve done that here.”

The Palace Theatre Gala on June 21st is a benefit for SCA and its Arts Education Programs. The evening will feature a pre-show cocktail party followed by the performance by Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers with Edie Brickell. Tickets for the Gala are $350. The monies raised support Arts Education programs such as the Triple Threat Performer Intensive, Young Choreographers Festival, summer and in-school-time performances on the HARMAN Stage and the annual Emerging Young Artist Scholarship awarded to a talented young artist in Fairfield County. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event by calling Maureen in the Development Department at 203-517-3419.

Concert tickets can be purchased at the SCA website, or charged by phone with major credit cards by calling the Box Office at 203-325-4466. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Palace Theatre box office in downtown Stamford. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 to 6.