Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, "So Familiar" (Rounder Records)
Edie Brickell and Steve Martin weave a warm, endearing and lush musical landscape in their second record together, the perfectly titled "So Familiar."
Martin, on banjo, and Brickell on vocals touch on themes of love and loss over a dozen songs they co-wrote. Producer Peter Asher creates the perfect space for the songs to breathe.
Brickell, as she has since breaking onto the scene in the late 1980s with the radio hit "What I Am" with her band New Bohemians, perfectly invokes her engaging vocal style over Martin's banjo. Brickell makes you feel like she's your best friend, sister or favorite aunt sitting down to sing next to you on a comfy couch.
On "Won't Go Back," which draws you in immediately with its toe-tapping hook, Brickell also flashes tough-as-nails resiliency: "I've been there, I've done that, I'd go anywhere, but I won't go back."
And Martin, the closest thing to a renaissance man there is in the entertainment industry today, has real chops on the banjo. He's no Bela Fleck (who lends his virtuoso banjo playing to one track), but he doesn't have to be.
Together, Brickell and Martin are a formidable musical duo, and it's a treat to hear them sweetly singing together on "I Have You."
It's enough to make even the most cynical among us crack a smile.
Follow Scott Bauer at twitter.com/SBauerAP