Steve Martin and Edie Brickell have announced their second studio album So Familiar, due out on Rounder Records on October 30. Produced by the legendary Peter Asher, the album features 12 remarkable new songs that bring the duo’s musical collaboration into fresh creative territory.
Martin and Brickell’s first album together, 2013’s Love Has Come for You, found the two iconoclastic artists making emotionally resonant, effortlessly accessible music that was unlike anything that either had created previously. The album earned critical acclaim, was nominated for two Grammy® Awards and won the Grammy® for “Best American Roots Song” and also inspired their new musical “Bright Star” which was originally staged last year at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. “Bright Star” is now gearing up to open at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on December 17, 2015, to be followed by a Broadway premiere in 2016.
While Love Has Come for You was the beginning of a musical partnership and a step into uncharted territory, So Familiar showcases an organic, evolving relationship that continues to bring out new creative strengths for Martin and Brickell. The new collection’s stirring compositions match Martin’s inventive, expressive five-string banjo work and Brickell’s distinctive vocals, detail-rich lyrics with the sublime music they composed jointly.
“I guess that this is the logical sequel to the first album, but it’s also different in a lot of ways,” Martin states. “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,” agrees 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.”
So Familiar also features a variety of prominent players from the worlds of bluegrass, folk, pop and rock, including seminal banjo ace Béla Fleck, who is featured on the uplifting Heart of the Dreamer, along with session bass legend Leland Sklar, Cobra Starship’s Victoria Asher, Mike Einziger of Incubus, Emmy-award winning composer/arranger Geoff Zanelli, and Martin’s much-acclaimed longtime bluegrass cohorts the Steep Canyon Rangers