Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers' 'California': Listen - Rolling Stone
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Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers Woo a Lover With Dreams of ‘California’ in New Collab

Dual-layered love song uses the state’s quality of life as a way to win back a lost lover

Steve Martin reunites with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a dual-layered love song. “California” is both a love letter to the state and an attempt to rekindle a romance fallen on hard times. Specifically, the narrator tries to lure his lover out to the coast from Oklahoma.

“Took a house in California overlooks the Sunset Strip/Said you’ll join me when I’m settled/Now I sit here six weeks in,” sings a forlorn Martin, as the band plucks behind him. His overtures include the promise of warm weather, rum drinking on the front porch, and creative opportunities. “Come to L.A./Bring your laptop/Sell your show to HBO,” he implores.

In the end, he meets a new interest at — where else? — Whole Foods and joins her at her home where she has legal weed for two. Still, Martin’s mind is on the one back in Oklahoma and he splits without even inhaling.

Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers pair the song with a lyric video that uses vintage California postcard imagery to whimsical effect.

The Steep Canyon Rangers will release the new album Be Still Moses, with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, on March 6th. Martin will join Martin Short for a 2020 comedy tour dubbed “The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment.”


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