He used to be best known for his zaniness on Saturday Night Live and in his movies back in the 70s. She used to be best known for her songs recorded with New Bohemians back in the 80s. But it took until this year for Steve Martin and Edie Brickell to finally get around to telling people all about love.
Back in the day, when Steven Martin was being delightfully hilarious on Saturday Night Live and in movies, he made audiences laugh with his off-kilter comedy and his penchant for playing the banjo when the mood struck him. His first wildly successful song, however, was King Tut … a song that sold over a million copies in 1978 when it was released and reached #17 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
And back in the other day, when Edie Brickell was just starting to make waves with the New Bohemians in downtown Dallas, audiences began flocking to the venues booking them. Their first single, “What I Am” reached #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1988.
So there you have it … two ships passing in the dark … separated by 10 spots and 10 years on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Except that they didn’t keep going their separate ways, did they? With the release of their CD “Love Has Come For You” earlier this year, the musical nuances of two very different people created one of the best CDs launched this year. Not only did this CD bring together Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, a number of talented musicians became part of this project. People like Esperanza Spalding, Waddy Wachtel, sister and brother Sara and Sean Watkins, Anthony Pleeth, Peter Asher, and Geoff Zanelli and a few others.
Now the CD is kind of a quiet thing in that it didn’t splash out across newspapers and magazines across the continent, shouting that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell had partnered to create one of the soon-to-be-a-bluegrass-classics of all time. It was showed up the way you expect a good friend to come visiting, gently rapping at the door, fresh pecan pie in hand. For those of us who were home the day the CD came calling, it was a welcome reprieve from an industry that seems to be struggling to find the meaning of art and artistry these days.
In the end, as the last note sounded, the fact of the matter was that a laid-back revolution had taken place. The CD took the #1 slot on Billboard’s Bluegrass albums chart and after nineteen weeks on the charts, the CD is proving to have some serious staying power.