Actor, comedian and bluegrass musician Steve Martin releases The Long-Awaited Album on Rounder Records. On his latest LP, Martin reconnects with his backing band the Steep Canyon Rangers, who previously contributed to 2011's Rare Bird Alert, 2013's Love Has Come for You and 2014's Live. Peter Asher, the Grammy-winning producer who's worked with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Diamond, helmed The Long-Awaited Album which is full of stories that mix humor and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos.
Lead single "Caroline" is a banjo-slathered number that manages to be unfailingly jolly even as it dissects a brutal break-up. The song opens not long after the title character has unceremoniously dumped Martin's narrator, and he's still hung up on her. The song appears to serve a therapeutic function, however, as by the end of "Caroline," Martin's narrator is finally beginning to think about moving on. "Research has shown that there are many, many songs with the title Caroline," Martin tells Rolling Stone. "However, this is the only good one."