Steve Martin

The Steve Martin Brothers

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With regard to Steve Martin's discography, "the worst" is how The Steve Martin Brothers is usually tagged, which isn't so harsh when you consider some of his other albums are classics or just plain old good. It's an oddball release for sure, with half devoted to standup -- very loose and stream-of-consciousness standup -- and the other half showing off Martin's self-taught banjo playing and his love of lively bluegrass. The worst thing about the album is the sloppy way the standup side is put together. What must be the intro to his "cocktail" act in Vegas is stuck in the middle of the set while other short bits are sequenced in a way so there's no momentum. The instrumental side of the album is actually pleasant and sometimes exciting, with Martin's fast fingers skillfully delivering these tunes with renowned folk like Vassar Clements and John McEuen at his side. Even Martin admits this was a way to finish off his contract at Warner Bros. and concentrate on acting, but it's hardly the disaster some make it out to be. It may even be the best half-standup, half-bluegrass album you'll ever hear.

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