Steve Forbert is playing at Greenfield’s Hawks and Reed on Saturday 10/16. I had a chance for a quick conversation with the singer songwriter in advance of his NorthEast shows which also includes Cafe Lena in Saratoga, and The Bull Run in Shirley. We talked about his musical partner on these shows, George Naha, who has played with some musical giants including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Willie Dixon as well as singer songwriters Livingston Taylor and Donald Fagen. George has been a member of Steve’s touring band, The New Renditions.
Steve has a new release, “Early Morning Rain”, which is his first foray into a “covers-only” album. He chose songs which interested him from an initial list of about 150 songs, demoed a bunch, ultimately releasing 11 cuts of his favorites which include “Box of Rain”, “Your Song” and the first single, “Goodtime Charley’s Got the Blues”. Our conversation also covers the recent publication of his memoir, “Big City Cat; My Life in Folk Rock”. I got Steve to reminisce about his train ride North back in 1976 from Meridien, Miss to NYC. He talks about finding a musical community there in the clubs and in the streets busking.
We talk about the process of songwriting for him these days as well as his views on the music industry today. We also get Steve’s impression of the tribute album done by various artists of his songs called “American Troubadour”. Steve requested a pair of tunes from that collection that we conclude the segment with, including Jim Lauderdale’s version of “What Kinda Guy?” and Todd Snider’s take on “It Sure Was Better Back Then”.