By: G. H. Harding

Steve Martin

Steve & Edie ---I think I first saw comedian Steve Martin play a banjo about a dozen or so years ago. I couldn’t figure out if it was a goof or a legit move, but I do remember being terrifically impressed. I’m a guitarist and I know the banjo is not any easier. He’s dabbled with it throughout his career and last year released 2 very impressive albums (Rare Bird Alert and Crow) and, last week released, with singer Edie Brickell, of all people, a new album called Love Has Come For You .. which, in addition to being a full-fledged collaboration, I think is one of the best recorded efforts of the year so far.

 Last week they did all the chat shows (Letterman; The View; Today) and though they almost consistently performed the title track, they were nothing short of fantastic; even better live than on the album. Martin has always been somewhat of an enigma; reports have him at various times being overtly shy, but what a comic mind. Whether it’s been King Tut or the Wild And Crazy Guy on SNL … his brand of comedy is one you have to pay attention to; because it’s so smart and refined. Yes, he was quite ribald when he did the Great Flydini, but almost everything he’s done has been just so unique. He’s also reported to have one of the largest and best art collections on the West Coast; in fact, the cover art is a painting by none other than Martin Mull. As good as the album is, the secret weapon has just got to be producer Peter Asher; whose calibration of each song and each note is nothing short of brilliant. If someone said to me, they wanted to be a music producer; I’d reply to them to listen to this album over and over to see how it’s done. My favorite track so far is the title track, but the last track “Remember Me This Way” and “Fighter” are also flawlessly beautiful. Martin has said that he would email Edie the music track and miraculously days later it would re-appear with a title and lyrics. If that was their process, it worked beautifully. “When You Get to Asheville,”

 “Sarah Jane and the Iron Mountain Baby” also work beautifully as well. Brickell’s been missed; no question about it. She’s made albums of late, but nothing as dazzling as this, and Martin’s banjo playing just literally hypnotizes you. It’s stunningly seductive. Get this album … one of the best of the year so far. 

Photo By: RD/Kabik/Retna