Eight years ago, Steve Martin formally introduced himself to the bluegrass scene with his debut solo album, The Crow. It wasn’t long before the beloved Texas-born comedian—who took up the banjo at age 17 and often brought it out during stand-up gigs—became a full-fledged frontman, touring the world and releasing two albums with North Carolina sextet Steep Canyon Rangers. Now, Martin and the Rangers have announced their first album together since 2014, a 14-song collection aptly titled The Long-Awaited Album. Martin’s swift banjo picking really shines on humorous numbers, like “Caroline”(a punchy hashing-out of one brutal break-up), as well as more romantic songs like the sweeping “All Night Long” (“Life is such a sweet soirée/I offer up this exposé/I only love you in the day/and all night long”).
The Long-Awaited Album will be released on September 22 via Rounder Records, but Garden & Gun is proud to offer an early listen to album opener, “Santa Fe.” It’s an up-tempo ode to the rush of new romance and the open road. Says Martin: “I’m happy to present to Garden & Gun this musical story of a love gone right.”