Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit Steep Canyon Rangers and vocalist and songwriter Edie Brickell and have collaborated on “Test of Time,” a new single to benefit the Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation, is now available via digital outlets. Physical copies are also available here.
Produced by Carl Jackson and co-written by Brickell and Rangers vocalist and guitarist Woody Platt, “Test of Time” is an intricate composition whose message of resilience is amplified by surprising, keenly executed shifts in tempo, meter, and feel. The soulful twinned lead vocals of Brickell and Platt, each alternating lead and harmony, embody the tenderness, warmth, and partnership of the lyric.
The song was born in 2014 as Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers, then on tour with musician and comedian Steve Martin, were traveling from Washington to British Columbia. “Edie climbed into the bus full of sweet bubbly energy,” Platt recalled. “It was nice, as I was very flat and sad – it being the first Mother's Day since my mom died unexpectedly the year before. Edie, being a mother herself, was in such a bright mood it lifted my spirits in a big way. She was humming a fun melody and was determined to turn it into song. I joined her and together we worked on the song as the tour bus traveled in the belly of the ferry. By the time we hit shore in Canada, ‘Test of Time’ was done...we played it at the show that night.”
“This song was hands-down one of my favorite musical experiences,” Brickell adds, "from working it out with Woody on the Ferry with Steve listening and offering us his bounce, to recording with those talented Rangers in Nashville while Carl Jackson and engineer Luke Wooten created such great sounds and a fun-loving environment."
Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers recorded the song following a session with Steve Martin for a track on producer Carl Jackson’s upcoming album Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited. “The guys asked me if I would consider producing a single with them and Edie Brickell,” Jackson says. “Having the wonderful opportunity to also work with Edie was enticing enough, but after hearing the song they wanted to record, my excitement level went even higher.”
Both Brickell and Seep Canyon Rangers are currently at work on new albums – the Rangers with producer and Dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas; Brickell in a new collaboration with Steve Martin with Peter Asher at the helm.
Proceeds from the sales of “Test of Time” will benefit the Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation. “We’re thrilled to have the Steep Canyon Rangers onboard as 'TUNES' ambassadors,” the foundation stated, “and we appreciate Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie helping us spread the love and 'do-goodery' far and wide through the release of this single.”