blue­grass

Love Has Come for You Steve Martin and Edie Brick­ell Rounder/UMA ★★★ ✩

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

YES, that Steve Martin, the one with a gift for act­ing, for writ­ing fic­tion and for be­ing, on his day, tears-in­duc­ingly funny. There’s noth­ing joc­u­lar about the Amer­i­can co­me­dian’s banjo-play­ing, al­though he used it as a prop in his stand-up rou­tines in the 1970s. Martin, how­ever, is a se­ri­ous devo­tee of the in­stru­ment. He has been play­ing it for 50 years and in re­cent times has sat in with the blue­grass en­sem­ble the Steep Canyon Rangers. In 2010 he cre­ated the Steve Martin Prize for Ex­cel­lence in Banjo and Blue­grass, which is worth $50,000. On this al­bum of gen­tly sway­ing blue­grass tunes he is joined by Edie Brick­ell, she of the 1980s hit What I Am and wife of Paul Si­mon. The singer co-wrote the mu­sic with Martin and she penned all of the lyrics. Brick­ell’s voice is the most en­gag­ing of the two lead in­stru­ments, adding a play­ful­ness to up-tempo tracks Sarah Jane and the Iron Moun­tain Baby, Get Along Stray Dog and Who You Gonna Take to the Dance?. There’s a more som­bre tone to the open­ing When You Get to

Asheville, a con­tem­po­rary ode to lost love, par­tic­u­larly within the blue­grass brief, with its line

‘‘ send me an email / let me know how you’re do­ing’’. Brick­ell ex­cels on the more plain­tive songs, adding a pleas­ing depth of emo­tion to the ti­tle track and the clos­ing Re­mem­ber Me This Way. Gui­tarist Waddy Wach­tel leads an im­pres­sive sup­port­ing cast, which in­cludes pro­ducer Peter Asher on as­sorted per­cus­sion.

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