Steve Martin, Punch Brothers and more celebrate 'Inside Llewyn Davis' at Santa Monica jam session
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — After premiering at Cannes and bringing the film (and a jam session) to Telluride, not to mention a big concert event in New York ahead of a NYFF bow, it was time to bring the "Inside Llewyn Davis" party to Los Angeles Wednesday night as CBS Films, producer Scott Rudin and music maestro T Bone Burnett turned out quite the crowd at The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica. A number of talented young acts hit the stage to offer up a pair of folk music sets for the largely industry crowd, and they even had a celebrity surprise up their sleeve.
The evening was billed "A Special Musical Evening Honoring T Bone Burnett and Joel and Ethan Coen." Barbra Streisand and James Brolin watched in admiration just off stage. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen mingled with Joel and Ethan Coen. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ed Helms, Patricia Arquette, Moby, Marisa Tomei, Stephen Gaghan, Thora Birch and Josh Gad were sighted as well.
The aforementioned surprise came when Steve Martin, who is set to receive an Honorary Oscar at the Academy's Governors Awards Sunday night, hit the stage with his trusty banjo in hand for a performance alongside Punch Brothers. "I'm so honored to be receiving this award tonight," the comedian quipped., Indeed, it feels like a prize is being dished out every other day this time of year. Other acts included Willie Watson, The Milk Carton Kids, Sean and Sara Watkins and the amazing Rhiannon Giddens. (Check out the set list on the next page for a full account of the evening).
The event included two packed sets, the first of which kicked off with a Punch Brothers rendition of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" (which should sound familiar to fans of the Coens' 1998 comedy "The Big Lebowski"). Both sets closed with "Davis" star Oscar Isaac at the mic for two separate renditions of "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)," which is featured prominently in the film.
[You can watch video of the first rendition embedded at top of this post, as well as Punch Brothers' take on "The Auld Triangle," also featured in the film, in the related content to the right.]
It was a big success for Burnett, who was having a blast and was even signing acts to his new Electromagnetic Recordings record label in between sets. It was also significant that Rudin, who often stays away from his own movie premieres, stayed the entire night. He was grinning from ear to ear in the crowd with the big awards season successes of "Captain Phillips" and, indeed, "Inside Llewyn Davis" to show for himself this year.
And the crowd naturally ate it all up with a spoon as this is just the kind of event (soundtrack CDs were handed out upon departure) that can have a pretty decent impact on the race in the wake of AMPAS' loosening of its phase one campaign rules in recent years. "I'm in the Academy so I think they want me to vote for the movie," one writers branch member could be heard saying. Bingo!
Check out the full set list from last night on the next page and click through the gallery below for a glimpse at the various acts who performed.
The Los Angeles premiere of "Inside Llewyn Davis" wraps up AFI Fest tonight as the Closing Night Gala. It opens in limited release on Dec. 6.