Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

March 7, 2014

Martin, Brickell partnership still thriving

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Steve Martin has found a lot of inspiration from very talented people over the years: actors such as Diane Keaton and Martin Short, and writers like David Mamet and Dennis Potter, for instance.

Edie Brickell fires his imagination in much the same way.

“A collaboration like with Edie is where you need something from them and they confound your expectations,” Martin said. “That’s what I get from Edie — where you go, ‘I’m so grateful for these surprising lyrics.’ We’re working on a musical and what I get from that is something that I couldn’t have done that’s better than what I expected... You’re always grateful when someone else comes up with something wonderful when you’re working with them.”

It’s a special time for Martin and Brickell. They just won a surprising Grammy Award for American roots recording. Their “Great Performances” concert, “Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell Live,” is set to air on PBS this week (check your local listings) with a companion CD/DVD set that includes two hours of comedy and music with four previously unrecorded songs. And they will start a tour later this month that includes three concerts at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles over the Fourth of July weekend.

Martin spoke with The Associated Press by telephone recently to discuss his friendship with Brickell, his unexpected second career as a musician and a new musical he hopes will make it to Broadway.

AP: This musical odyssey you’re on seems to have brought you a lot of joy in an unexpected way...

Martin: It’s truly unexpected because it got me back live performing and I had removed myself from live performing for almost 30 years. So that’s really unexpected.

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