Edie Brickell and Steve Martin "Love Has Come For You"

Bluegrass, pop, and rural folk mix seamlessly on an album that celebrates love.

Steve Martin has established his credentials as both an astute banjo player and songwriter. He’s recorded several albums with The Steep Canyon Rangers, winning a Grammy Award in the process. Edie Brickell is an acclaimed singer and songwriter of languid pop rock that hints at her Texas roots. Their collaboration proves to be a joyous journey into the heartland and heart of American music.

Using email the two collaborated on thirteen songs that began with Martin’s melodies. Provided with this base, Brickell allowed the banjo to narrate the storyline of each song. The title track, the third track the duo wrote, captures the essence of these stories, that being the unpredictable path of love. Love Has Come For You is a tale of love at first sight, but not in the usual context of a love story. A young unmarried woman, despite advice to the contrary, chooses to keep her love child, a baby she sees as being a gift from heaven. It is a sweet tale that defines the spirit of the album. Many of the songs on the release celebrate familial love, particularly between parents and children. “Sara Jane and the Iron Mountain Baby” finds a middle-aged couple taking in an abandoned baby tossed from a passing train. “Get Along Stray Dog” tells of a family homestead that takes in the town’s misfits and kinless. “Yes She Did” touches on the forlorn suicide folk ballad. Brickell is joined by Martin on the vocals. “Siamese Cat” is a light point about breaking up with someone because of their obnoxious child.

The album’s line-up of musicians is stellar. Beside The Steep Mountain Canyon Rangers we also find the brother/sister team Sara and Sean Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek. Esperanza Spalding appears on “King of Boys.” Other luminaries include Waddy Wachtel, Matt Rollings, and The Webb Sisters. Produced by Peter Asher, the album shines with the production that made the southern California rock of the 1970s so popular.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)