Steve Martin, Brickell have come for the love
Steve Martin knows life in music is no joke.
“When you record an album, you have to go on tour,” the “Wild and Crazy” banjo-playing comic says. “So here we are.”
That slice of professional life is bringing him and singer Edie Brickell to Heinz Hall, Downtown, on July 1 to promote their new album, “Love Has Come For You.” With them will be the bluegrass quintet, the Steep Canyon Rangers, with which Martin started working in 2009 for a similar reason. He had his album, “The Crow,” to promote.
“An agent said to me, ‘If you have an album, you have to go on the road,' and I said, ‘Good God, how do you do that?' and he said you put your own band together or find one that already exists,” Martin says. “I told him I only knew of one band.”
It was the Steep Canyon Rangers.
It would seem to make perfect sense for him and Brickell to sign the band on for the tour for “Love Has Come for You.” The Rangers and some other guests were part of the recording.
It puts Brickell in a comfortable position, too.
“I just love being around good musicians,” says Brickell, best known for her work with the New Bohemians and the Gaddabouts. “So, I feel right at home, but it has that extra dimension of comedy. It is very special and very different.”
Brickell and Martin come to this jointure from different directions. Brickell, who is married to singer/pop icon Paul Simon, joined the folk-rock New Bohemians when she was about 20 and began to shape a career in that band's eclectic nature.
Life with the band and as a soloist lead to the Gaddabouts, which featured jazz drummer Steve Gadd.
Meanwhile, Martin started a life in comedy as a writer for the Smothers Brothers. He made his first stand-up appearance in 1969 and became a regular part of “Saturday Night Live” at its heyday, creating a “Wild and Crazy” Czechoslovak playboy. He also showed an inclination to music then with the comic-dance song, “King Tut.”
But he had been playing banjo since his teens, and it was virtually always part of his comedy tours. He even used it on his first album in 1981.
When he recorded “The Crow” and went on tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers, doing a blend of comedy and music seemed natural. Adding Brickell to this act gives the show a new look, he says, as well as giving it new music.
They wrote eight songs together for the new album that will be featured in the show.
But he says they all are constantly analyzing the shows to make sure any particular blend of comedy and music is appropriate. Before a recent concert in Telluride, Colo., for instance, Martin says he believed that particular show would draw “a younger audience and more music-oriented,” meaning they cut down the amount of comedy that night.
“It's a 10 o'clock show, so it's late, too,” he says. “Well, late for me anyway.”
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.