Lonesome River Band on Letterman

A suitably attired Lonesome River Band delivered another big shot in the arm for bluegrass music with an impeccable performance of Molly (Where’s Your Man Tonight), a song that the band recorded for their No Turning Back album, released in September 2008.

The band’s banjo man Sammy Shelor was the second winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and the Letterman show appearance for Sammy and LRB was part of the prize.

Molly was a superb choice to showcase Shelor’s outstanding abilities on the banjo, with the able assistance of Mr. Martin on second banjo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6yPxxnmCac

Thanks Steve Martin for once again opening some doors for our elite bluegrass music performers!

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.CMT.com published a nice interview with Sammy on Friday afternoon, in which he muses on seeing the band turn 30 this year – and reflecting on his own advancing age. He remarked at one point that current LRB guitarist Brandon Rickman was 14 years old when the breakout LRB album, Carrying The Tradition, was released in 1991.

On what the future holds…

We feel like what we do can be shared. You know, the jam band thing has gotten so big. Some of the bluegrass-oriented acts in that marketplace got their upbringing on us. A lot of them will tell you that. I get told every day, and it makes me feel great to know that we’ve influenced people. And they’re succeeding with it. It’s just that I’ve got to succeed a little better. (laughs)

We are trying all the different things we can do to build a bigger following. … It’s all about the fans, and we want to keep creating stuff that the fans will get into. We want to keep on touring and hope for the best. And one of these days I’m going to be the old guy, where people say, “Oh, he can still play!” (laughs)

Read the full interview at CMT.com.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.

  • I sure like seeing Sammy Shelor and The Lonesome River Band on David Letterman. I’d like to see them back there on a regular basis.

  • So many of us who have followed Steve Martin’s career over the years know what a phenomenal musician he is, and have hoped and dreamed about the day he would be able to take a more active role in bluegrass. That day has arrived and we should all be incredibly grateful for it. Not only for the spotlight he shines on our music, but the attention he redirects to his own hero’s, like Sammy Shelor. He’s a wild and crazy guy, with a giant heart. The world could use a few more Steve Martin’s…and Sammy Shelor’s! Thank you Steve!