steve martin x

Steve Martin
Rounder/Decca Records

Fascinating Contemporary Bluegrass Album From Legendary Actor.

Over the years a few albums from famous actors have passed over my various desks; with all purporting not to be ‘vanity projects’ and all have eventually disappeared into obscurity.
So, it was with a heavy heart that I agreed to receive a copy of this new Bluegrass album by Oscar, Grammy and Emmy Award winning actor Steve Martin who will be singing and playing that much maligned musical instrument; the banjo.
Hmmmmm……but I do like a challenge.
All preconceptions were blown out of the office window with opening song Santa Fe; a 90mph toe-tapping Old-Timey slice of Southern Americana Pie, that had me accidentally singing along with the chorus.
There’s certainly no doubting Martin’s love for and dexterity on the banjo; which especially comes to light on All Night Long and So Familiar; but in fairness and much to my surprise, he makes the five stringed instrument sound lovely on quite a few other tracks too.
The surprises don’t just stop there as Steve Martin is not a half bad singer-songwriter too. The windswept Canadian Girl has something of a Celtic feel to it and Girl From River Run is an absolute delight, and perfect for a sunny afternoon on the back porch.
I’m as far from an expert here as you can get; so I just have to go with how the music has captured my attention, and my attention certainly has been, especially the quaint Nights in the Lab, which has a bit of Sea Shanty feel to it.
As you would expect there are plenty of instrumentals here for everyone involved to show off their talents, especially Martin himself; there’s the rip-roaring Office Supplies and Angeline the Barista but he also shows a more intricate and sensitive side with Always Will.
Yet again selecting a favourite track proved difficult; but All Night Long, being the most traditional of Old Timey Country songs here; just edges it over a couple of others.
Probably because Steve Martin himself alongside the Steep Canyon Rangers are such consummate professionals that listening to this album several times has never been a chore; and actually been quite fun.

Released October 6th 2017

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