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Music review: Banjo and voice blend well on new CD by Steve Martin, Edie Brickell

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, “Love Has Come For You”

It's clear from the opening line on the first song, “When You Get To Asheville,” that “Love Has Come For You” isn't your grandfather's banjo record.

“When you get to Asheville,” singer Edie Brickell intones after a beguiling banjo introduction by Steve Martin, “please send me an email.”

Mixing the traditional with the modern, Brickell and Martin find a comfortable groove on what may seem like an unlikely collaboration but that turns out to be a perfect fit. Brickell's ability to create vivid characters and spin a tale in the confines of a 3-minute song melds well with Martin's five-string banjo stylings.

Brickell lets her native Texas twang come out on songs like “Sarah Jane and the Iron Mountain Baby,” while Martin, following up his 2009 Grammy-winning debut bluegrass album, finds melodies and tunes that hearken to an earlier time but still sound contemporary. The title track has a particularly haunting feel that grabs a hold after multiple listenings, proving once again that Martin is more than just a comedic actor and Brickell is an underrated singer-songwriter.