Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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Album Review: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell Live

2 min read

We all know Steve Martin can act, write, tell jokes, and make us all laugh, but you’d be excused for not knowing about another one of his talents – playing the banjo.  Martin teamed up with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell to tour the United States and released a live album from one of their shows along the way.

Steve Martin Live 2Anyone familiar with Steve Martin’s musical career or Bluegrass music would know that Martin is no amateur – having just recently won his fifth Grammy Award. The latest was the Grammy for the Best American Roots song which went to Love Has Come For You, off the album of the same name which he and Brickell created together.

Recorded last year in Riverside, California, the album provides a sneak peek into the band’s live performance – allowing fans who’ve seen them to recapture the moment, and those who haven’t the chance to experience their live show. The show is energetic and full of positive vibes, humour and good quality Bluegrass music.

Beginning with the upbeat Katie Mae, it’s quite apparent that Martin fits in well with the band, with the banjo featuring dominantly as a focal point of the catchy tune. Between Katie Mae and Jubilation Day which follows, there’s barely a chance to sit down as the two are so infectious, demanding you to get up and dance along.

Soon after, Love Has Come For You comes in and shows us why it won its Grammy last year. Edie Brickell shows off her stunning vocals in the sweet, soothing track as she is backed up by Martin and the band.

Towards the end of the album lies the tongue-in-cheek Atheists Don’t Have No Songs which shows off the band’s sense of humour. The A Capella performance has the crowd laughing with clever lines like “In their songs they have a rule, the “he” is always lowercase” and “Atheist songs add up to nada, but they do have Sundays free”.

The band keeps the crowd entertained the whole way through with songs including the previously unreleased Pretty Little One, Auden’s Train and The Dance at the Wedding as well as the melancholy sounding finale Daddy Played the Banjo, and they seem to be impressed with what they hear, happily cheering and clapping along.

There is something to be said of live albums and the positive energy they capture. With high quality recording and sound production, live albums are always a fun and exciting way to share music with fans. Steve Martin’s collaboration with Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers is a lovely light-hearted and strong collection which will likely appeal to fans of many different genres with its high energy and contagiousness.