Listen: Love Has Come For You
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (Rounder, 2013)
Comedy icon, bona fide movie star, best-selling novelist, and accomplished banjo player. If that’s the answer, then the question is: Who is Steve Martin? Martin follows up two stellar bluegrass albums, The Crow and Rare Bird Alert, with a stunning collaborative album with Edie Brickell entitled Love Has Come For You. The album affirms Martin’s status as a powerful force in the trend that has us reaching back to the music of the back porch—the banjo, the fiddle, and harmonies that take us to the deep, firefly-lit nights of the American South.
The collaboration of Edie Brickell and Steve Martin is an inspired one. Love Has Come For You is a lovely combination of Brickell’s clear, folksy voice and Martin’s jack-of-all-trades banjo-picking talent. Brickell is best known for her work in the late ’80s with the New Bohemians, but she has since established herself as an insightful lyricist and accomplished vocalist.
This first-time collaboration began when Brickell, wife of Paul Simon, approached Martin and asked if she could make a song out of one of his tunes. The two somewhat private artists began an unusual creative process that involved working independently and coming together in the recording studio to fine-tune the album’s songs. The result is a collection of beautifully braided songs from two artists who share an old-time mountain aesthetic and a love for finely drawn stories.
The album’s title song is one of its finest and neatly sums up the melancholy joy of the album. Other gems include “When You Get to Asheville” and “Fighter.” There’s a lot to love on this album. Don’t be surprised if you find it stuck on constant rotation in your CD player. In our house we play it so loud our neighbors hear it. Then we fire up the grill, snap some peas on the porch, and join the toe-tapping revolution, all while trying to suppress feelings of enormous jealousy over the unfair distribution of Steve Martin’s huge talents.
This article appeared in the August 2013 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 78, No. 8, page 42).