In 1978, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Steve Forbert moved from Meridian, Mississippi, following his muse to New York City to pursue a music career. Starting out busking for change at Grand Central Station, Forbert slowly worked his way up to larger and larger clubs, eventually securing a record deal and releasing his debut album, Alive On Arrival, later that year. While his album was received well critically, with raving reviews from The New York Times and Rolling Stone, the musician truly had his breakthrough with his second album, Jackrabbit Slim, which put him on the map with its hit single “Romeo’s Tune.”
Forbert is known for his thoughtful songwriting, both musically and lyrically, with The New York Times previously calling him “an introspective, homespun philosopher” and Rolling Stone likening his debut album to “a great first novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J.D. Salinger.” With eighteen studio albums under his belt, Forbert has influenced many acts that have come after him, and his songs are still regularly covered or cited by a huge range of artists today. As a means to honor the influence of the living legend, today, a new tribute album to Steve Forbert has been released on Blue Rose Music dubbed An American Troubadour: The Songs Of Steve Forbert.
The 21-track album features some of our favorite musicians today paying tribute to Forbert, with John Oates and Bekka Bramlett, Jackie Greene, Jason Crosby, John Popper, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Todd Snider, Robert Earl Keen, Jim Lauderdale, Eric Lindell, and more all contributing covers to the new collection. The songs on An American Troubadour span Forbert’s four-decade-long career, with each artists putting their own unique twist on some of Forbert’s most well-loved tunes.
However, tribute album may not fully capture the essence of this new release, as explained by Blue Rose Music founder Joe Poletto, who elaborated, “Some say that Steve is too young to have a ‘tribute’ record and I think that’s true because Steve has a lot of music left in him. In my mind, this project is not a tribute but rather its intention is to recognize the spirit of the troubadour in all of those artists who follow their life’s path like Steve with purpose and passion.”
As John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame, noted of his track on American Troubadour, “It was very cool for me to be able to re-imagine Steve Forbert’s song ‘I Blinked Once.‘ I was drawn to his great lyrics and ability to take a simple idea and craft it into a memorable song. We gave it a harder edge in the production and turned it into a duet with myself and the legendary Bekka Bramlett, whose energy is a thing to behold.”
Live For Live Music is proud to premiere a full-stream of An American Troubadour: The Songs Of Steve Forbert. You can take a listen to the album and check out its track listing and full list of contributors below. For more information about Steve Forbert or for his upcoming tour dates, you can visit Forbert’s official website here. Enjoy!
An American Troubadour: The Songs Of Steve Forbert Official Tracklist
01. Kelly Fitzgerald – Thinkin’
02. John Oates featuring Bekka Bramlett – I Blinked Once
03. Elliott Peck – Goin’ Down To Laurel
04. David Luning – Steve Forbert’s Midsummer Night’s Toast
05. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – Romeo’s Tune
06. Jim Lauderdale – What Kinda Guy?
07. Robert Earl Keen – It Isn’t Gonna Be That Way
08. James Maddock – Grand Central Station, March 18, 1977
09. Amy McCarley – Cellophane City
10. John Popper – You Cannot Win (If You Do Not Play)
11. Megan Palmer – Running On Love
12. Jesse Bardwell – The Sweet Love That You Give (Sure Goes A Long, Long Way)
13. Wes Langlois – I’m In Love With You
14. Jackie Greene – If You’re Waiting On Me
15. Eric Lindell – January 23-30, 1978
16. Gwyneth Moreland – Autumn This Year
17. Todd Snider – It Sure Was Better Back Then
18. Bill Lloyd – When The Sun Shines
19. Jason Crosby – Tonight I Feel So Far Away From Home
20. HUGElarge – Rock While I Can Rock
21. Tim Bluhm – Search Your Heart