The singer/guitarist will introduce his latest long-playing, Moving Through America, when he headlines a gig at the Flowerpot, Derby on June 25.
Years before Americana music got its own category at the Grammy Awards, Steve helped pioneer the genre’s blend of folk, roots-rock and richly
Reminiscing about the start of his career, he said: “I was a fan of the Byrds and the Lovin’ Spoonful but I also loved the singer-songwriters of that era. Country music too. Gram Parsons was a real touchstone for me, and there was still no name that could encompass all of these sounds. I wanted to keep that sound alive with my own music, and I didn’t care if it was late 1970s New York. I didn’t care how popular Talking Heads or Blondie was, because I wasn’t trying to do what they were doing. I just kept doing what I did. His unwavering work ethic quickly paid off. Romeo’s Tune, a track from Steve’s breakthrough 1979 album Jackrabbit Slim, became a hit, climbing to number 11 in the US and propelling its accompanying album to gold status. When New Wave bands began dominating the FM airwaves several years later, Forbert stuck to his guns, continuing to fly the flag for organic roots music that proudly blurred the lines between genres.
Over the course of 40+ years, Steve has navigated the twists and turns of an acclaimed career that has taken him from gold records to Grammy nominations, from New York’s CBGB to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe. prolific well into the 21st century and still writing lively, unwavering music. Steve spends most of each year on stage, on the road and in the writing room. “I don’t try to refine or reinvent what I do,” he said. “It’s a sequel. I’m telling new stories, but my focus has always been the same. It’s always been about the songs.
The songs take center stage in this year’s album in which Steve offers insight into the daily lives of his characters: a man getting ready to take his girlfriend out for fried oysters, a former drug dealer celebrating his freedom from incarceration, a motorist on a road… journey steadily making its way through the Midwest. Steve inhabits each character, shaping their plots into first-person narratives that blur the lines between subject and scribe.
These are songs for the head, the heart and the heart, from the acoustic funky-tonk of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies to the Tom Petty worthy of Say Hello to Gainesville. Moving Through America is an album that celebrates the art of the everyday, created by a legacy songwriter with plenty of fuel in the tank.
Tickets to see Steve at the Flowerpot cost £22 (including booking fee) and can be purchased online at www.gigantic.com