Thursday, January 2, 2014

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell "Sarah Jane & The Iron Mountain Baby"

"Really?  A banjo record?!?"

I try not to look too hard at the voting for the Top 25 of 2013 while it is in process, so as not to make a big deal of anything, until the full picture has developed.

But I did take one peek this year.

After the voting period was halfway over, "Love Has Come For You" by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell was in the lead.

I was pretty surprised by this.

Albums that make the top of the list are, by nature, consensus records.  A large portion of the audience, with varying musical tastes, must feel connected to the record.

Records with a broad palette of influences do well.  Genre records rarely top the list.

And other than rap music, country music is the genre most often cited as an irritant by our listeners.

There is no getting around it.  "Love Has Come For You" is a banjo record.

Mind you, it's a really delightful, beautiful, warm and inviting banjo record.  But for a prejudiced ear, it's simply a banjo record.  With the banjo up front enough to be an immediate turn off to those who dislike the sound.

Ultimately, a less surprising album (Tedeschi Trucks Band's "Made Up Mind") surged in the voting and became number one.

But it's pretty impressive that a record that could potentially be viewed as niche-y, found such a wide audience.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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