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Comedian (and banjo player) Steve Martin has awarded the first Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. The winner of the $50,000 prize is Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers. Pikelny is a banjo player. 

Judges included Martin, Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka and Bela Fleck. Martin and Pikelny are above. 

“This award has been created to bring recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music,” Martin said. “It is hoped that by highlighting the extraordinary musicianship of these artists, that bluegrass, and bluegrass-related music will enjoy an increased appreciation world-wide.”

•Okay, this is taking suburban life way too far

The Municipal Court of Lakeway, a suburban town northwest of Austin has banned cowboy boots. Lawyers can’t wear ’em and neither can judges. No ostrich, no snake, no gator, no straight leather and no fancy stitching. 

Be assured that Texas attorneys are ticked. “This is Texas,” said Austin lawyer George Lobb. “I was born wearing boots, and I am going to die wearing boots.” The judge who wrote the rule, Kevin Madison (the former police chief in Smithville, Texas), said he hasn’t fined anyone for wearing boots in his courtroom.

“I don’t think he needs to be afraid if he’s wearing nice-looking cowboy boots,” Madison said of Lobb. “But if he comes in with raggedy boots and spurs and blue jeans, there’s going be a problem.”

Houston criminal defense attorney Dick DeGuerin (who has defended former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Waco wacko David Koresh and singer Billy Joe Shaver) said, “There’s a thought going around that really we ought to show up (in Lakeway) with a bunch of lawyers wearing boots. They can’t throw us all in jail.”

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