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Rascal Flatts Meet Steve Martin

| April 28, 2012

There were several amazing duet moments during the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  One brought together Rascal Flatts with actor/comedian Steve Martin.  In addition to his many talents, Steve is a Grammy winning banjo player.  So it was natural to include him in Flatts latest hit, “Banjo.”  They talked about it with Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton: “It was one of those things where they asked him to do it, and he heard the song, but wasn’t sure if his bluegrass style playing would work with what’s in that song.  So we had a lot of phone conversations, which is strange to hear Steve Martin on the telephone.  I even have two voicemails that I saved from him.  So we talked back and forth, and he really practiced and got the tune down pat.  It was such an honor to stay with Steve Martin and make music with him, he’s wildly talented guy and a delight to be around.  We sat backstage with him for two days before the awards.  We’ve never rehearsed so much in our life.” 

Music wasn’t the only subject Rascal Flatts discussed with Steve Martin.  They also talked about his movies: “It was wonderful to talk with him about his movies.  He said we should go out in the Three Amigos costumes if we wanted to do this right.  I think Gary asked what’s the favorite role you played in a movie, and he said ‘It’s really hard, because I’ve played the serious guy who’s funny like in Father of the Bride, and somebody who’s a jerk in Planes Trains and Automobiles, so it varies.  I really loved playing Father of the Bride because the guy is funny unintentionally.”  Then he said his favorite location shoot was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  My question was ‘Since you don’t have instant feedback from an audience, do you know that you’re making a funny movie?’  And he told me, ‘The only thing I can tell you is it feels funny, but you don’t really know until years later, if they endure.’ 

Jay DeMarcus told Lon he got insight into Steve experiences as a comedian: “The night before the ACMs, I saw comedian Ron White at the Mirage.  Steve and I talked about it, and he asked, ‘How long is his show?’ And I told him, ‘About an hour and a half.’  He said, ‘Wow, that’s really hard as a standup comic.  I used to do 45 minutes and it was all I could do to maintain focus and be funny all that time.’”

LISTEN: 12-18 Rascal6

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