Album: So Familiar
Label: Rounder Records
Release date: October 30, 2015
Writer, comedian and longtime banjo ace Steve Martin has been especially active on the musical front in recent years, issuing a couple of highly acclaimed bluegrass efforts both on his own and with the Steep Canyon Rangers. He also forged a fruitful partnership with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, which debuted on 2013’s Love Has Come for You. On October 30th — the same month that Martin receives a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association — the duo issues its follow-up, So Familiar. The record was inspired in part by the pair’s collaborative musical, Bright Star, which debuted in San Diego last year and opens at the Kennedy Center in D.C. in December.
Produced by Peter Asher, the album features 12 new songs. "I guess that this is the logical sequel to the first album, but it's also different in a lot of ways," Martin said. "It sounds bigger and wider, and it has a lush feeling that I really like. I think that Edie's voice sounds beautiful with these arrangements, and I love the way the banjo sounds with strings. Peter really had a vision for this record, and he really came up with some wonderful things." "What Peter did was so beautiful," said Brickell. "He has a great musical imagination, and he always surprises us. I'm so impressed by his ability to come up with things that feel grand and intimate at the same time. Peter has a really great ability to create something majestic and incorporate that into a traditional-sounding song."