Steve Forbert Returns to Fogartyville
Thursday, January 6, 2022
With a raspy voice and a harmonica strapped upon his neck, Forbert offers folk and blues that can certainly be met with comparisons to Bob Dylan. Forbert is best known for his hit “Romeo’s Tune” from his 1979 album Jackrabbit Slim. He has been a font of music ever since, releasing more than a dozen studio albums, including a Grammy nominated tribute to Jimmie Rodgers in 2003. Steve Forbert will play the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Thursday, January 6 at 8pm. Tickets are $27 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets are available at WSLR.
Steve Forbert’s folk rock career has spanned four decades and counting. In June 1976, the twenty-one year old boarded a train in Meridian, Mississippi bound for New York City, then the epicenter of folk music. His combination of musicianship and authenticity demanded notice. In less than two years, he went from being a street performer and living at the YMCA to filling historic Greenwich Village clubs and signing a major label record contract with Nemperor Records.
From 1978 to 1982, Forbert released four acclaimed albums. Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild wrote that now or then, you would be hard pressed to find a debut effort that was simultaneously as fresh and accomplished as Alive on Arrival . . . it was like a great first novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J.D. Salinger.’
In 2017, twenty-one artists paid tribute to Steve by recording a compilation titled: An American Troubadour: The Songs of Steve Forbert, further validating his artistic legacy. Forbert’s 2018 memoir Big City Cat: My Life in Folk Rock serves as a primer for young musicians setting out on their own journeys.
In 2021 Forbert released Jackrabbit Slim Live In Asbury Park to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legendary album, which contained the instantly memorable Top 20 hit, “Romeo’s Tune” and “January 23-30, 1978,” with its existential line, “It’s often said that life is strange, oh yes, but compared to what?”
Anyone who reviews Steve’s catalogue of music can see the writer in the musician. His songs are as literary as they are musically vibrant. Brutally honest lyrics delivered with sensitivity create an uncommon trust with his listeners. Excelling in every decade of his career, Forbert exemplifies the best of the troubadour tradition.
Photo from Fogartyville