Steve & Edie ride again

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell - photo by Mark SeligerNot that Steve & Eydie… We’re talking Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.

It’s a safe assumption that our readers are well familiar with Steve Martin, both from his star turns in comedy and film, and his new-found career as a performing/recording banjo player and songwriter. But unless you followed pop music in the 1980s, Edie Brickell’s name may not be at the front of your consciousness.

She first came to wide attention as the singer with Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians, whose 1988 hit, What I Am, marked their peak popularity. Since that time, Edie has continued in a solo career, and as a member of The Gaddabouts.

Now Martin and Brickell have collaborated on a new album, Love Has Come For You, which finds these two working from their unique strengths: Steve on banjo, Edie on vocals. Which is just how the music was created, according to Martin.

“Edie and I co-wrote all the songs. I wrote all the banjo melodies, and Edie wrote the lyrics. Sometimes Edie’s vocal melodies follow the banjo melodies, often they don’t.”

Stylistically it’s a bit hard to peg, with elements of old time music woven in with Brickell’s repetitive, trancelike lyrics, and sultry vocal delivery. The presentation is sparse, often with only banjo and voice out front.

“I always felt the banjo could work well in a ‘chamber music’ type setting. But we also have the Rangers, and Sara and Sean Watkins on several cuts.”

Look for Steve and Edie, plus Steep Canyon Rangers, on the road later this year. They will begin touring together in March, ahead of the album’s April release. Martin says that the show will include he and the Rangers doing a set, followed by a set of Steve and Edie, and likely closing with the whole gang on stage.

We’ll have more to say about Love Has Come For You as we get closer to April.

Tour information is available on Martin’s web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.