Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steve Forbert back in September

Over With You, Steve Forbert's first studio album in three years, will be released Sept. 11 on Blue Corn Music.

From the first song, All I Asked of You, with its “sore-tailed cat” and its “one-armed man,” Over With You brings the lyrical brilliance of Forbert into a rich musical landscape where the emotional depth of the lyrics, and the affinity of the musicians supporting them, is palpable.
“This album is very personal,” Forbert says. “The songs are about what people feel in deep relationships — mainly love and friction.”

Forbert says he wanted the new album to be musically sparse. There is no bass on some tracks, for example, creating a haunting vibe on the songs and leaving the spotlight firmly on the lyrics. 
“I’m not Lady Gaga,” he says. “I went for a much more minimal thing. It’s all about the songs.”
Nonetheless, the musicianship is superb, with Ben Harper, as a guest guitarist on three tracks, including a smoldering solo on the upbeat focus track, That’d Be Alright.
Forbert calls “Sugarcane Plum Fairy,” the last song on Over With You, “a return to ‘Goin’ Down to Laurel’,” one of the most beloved cuts on Alive on Arrival. He says it’s about returning to a relationship a year or so later and finding everything out of place and the magic completely gone. 
As a young man from Meridian, Mississippi, Steve traveled to New York City and played guitar for spare change in Grand Central Station. He vaulted to international prominence with a folk-rock hit, “Romeo’s Tune,” during a time when rootsy rock was fading out and the Ramones, Talking Heads and other New Wave and punk acts were moving in to the public consciousness.
“Those styles didn’t really synch with my musical approach,” reflects Forbert. Still, critics raved about Forbert’s poetic lyrics and engaging melodies, and the crowds at CBGB’s in New York accepted him alongside those acts. “I've never been interested in changing what I do to fit emerging trends,” Forbert observes. “Looking back on it, I was helping to keep a particular American songwriting tradition alive at a time when it wasn’t in the spotlight.”
After his first two records came a plethora of well-crafted, unforgettable songs on such albums as Little Stevie Orbit, Streets of This Town, The American in Me, Mission of the Crossroad Palms and Evergreen Boy. His tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, Any Old Time, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.
Forbert’s music was pure Americana before that genre was recognized. The road and the changing landscape are an integral part of the hard-working Forbert’s life and songwriting. He was a truck driver before releasing his first album and says there’s “romance” involved when he gets in the car after each show and drives to the next gig in another city.
Fourteen albums on, Forbert’s stamp on American music is akin to the legendary footprints of Warren Zevon, Gene Clark, Gram Parsons and other top American songwriters, and he has often been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen.
Now, 34 years after his first album, Steve Forbert is releasing an exciting new one, Over With You. Its ten fresh but mature songs pinpoint a wide range of emotions that color personal relationships — emotions that most listeners have undoubtedly felt and struggled to understand at some point in their lives. “This is an album that has taken a lifetime to make,” explains Forbert.  “You don’t just pull these songs out of thin air — you have to live them.”

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