Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Steve Forbert - The Next Big Thing Again!

Hey America and the World wake up we still have Steve Forbert.  In Hollywood's lust for the next big thing as Disney churns out more teen sensations that obliterate themselves once they hit twenty one, with cheap reality shows spitting out across the globe wannabes, and has beens trying for that last little glimmer of fame or first fast food commercial there is integrity, talent, fun and genius going on about its business waiting for nothing but you to notice and if you don't so what.

I'm talking about Steve Forbert of Romeo's Tune fame which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1980.  Your parents heard it on the radio...a lot.  A musician who took on the record companies when they refused to release an album of his and put his career on hold because of the way the contract was written and the fight that ensued.  Its an old story that never sees the light of day and of course the artist isn't to blame.....just his management and then well growing up takes place, perspectives change and square one is revisited and lo and behold we have Steve Forbert back. 

Thank god we have Steve Forbert back.  In this day and age we need all the hope we can wrap our arms around. There's hope in his personal story let alone his music and talent that spins fresh and turns with so much essence of what is that it will refresh your very own roots of experience and realization with a touch of the sanguine and truth affirmed.

I first saw Steve in 1986 he opened for Arlo Guthrie and while I respected his obvious song writing skill I hadn't been hooked yet and then I saw his show.  I was hooked.  So I started my Steve Orbit journey that found me revisiting his music and digging and digging.  I knew there was something there if I just kept digging and now my cd collection and speakers are brimming with treasure I over looked, music that I thought would never be again an artist rediscovered who perhaps has rediscovered himself and we all go through this together and its sweet to have those deeper strings plucked.  

Here's what I've found out for my self.  I love his American in Me disc its where I would send anyone to start if they did not know Steve's work....keep listening his voice will grow on you if not instantly.  Then go get his reissues of Jack Rabbit Slim and Little Stevie Orbit.  There is a ton of material on those albums and the songs range all over the musical spectrum but still hang together the bonus material takes up a whole additional disc and is never filler - you get live takes and its all thoughtfully put together.  Familiarize yourself with his music and then go see him live.  Take your girlfriend, boyfriend or go alone you'll be glad you did.

With all the ridiculous bullshit we fill our lives up with (Kardashians, political stooges, war and putting the down trodden further down) Steve's music will remind you and reinforce whats good, whats essential and lift you up even after singing about being put down. 

Stronger lyric writing you don't come across often if ever.  A strong sense of melody and what just sounds good with excellent transitions, bridges, hooks, chorus and verse whether singing alone or with backing vocals and a band Steve's music is the unpretentious real deal and always has been the real deal.

So the question remains are you?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Allman Brothers Band Virginia Beach 9/4/2013

Saw the ABB in V. Beach last night 5th row center - stood for two hours straight - massive air bass playing, head bopping and butane burning- I think I scared Oteil........the sound down front was beautiful but could have brought Greggs key board up a bit more in the mix.  Fun crowd not too drunk lots of hand shaking, smiles and interaction with everyone around us. 

They went old school to start the show which is what I was craving - That's what love will make you do was a surprise  - I thought oh no as it started and then was singing, dancing and sweating before it was over - sounded great.  They were very faithful to the original licks on Blue Sky, Jessica and Southbound but of course blazed their own in the moment imprint when stretching it out.  Lots and lots of energy.  The array of drums practically in our lap was huge and I was way into the drum break which is unusual for me!  Into the Mystic was extremely heartfelt and on point a beautiful rendition that had me mesmerized - Warren brought out a sweet new guitar for that number - the tone was excellent the mood was achieved.  And Grace Potter - well hells bells the chick sounded just like Bonnie Bramblet - I thought - no wonder these guys like her - she shimmied in front of Gregg at one point and well that was the biggest smile I've ever seen from him - I was happy to catch that moment.  Great rendition of The Weight reminded me exactly of Duane's version with Aretha Franklin thanks to Derek and the time signature of the band really special they nailed it.  Grace has some pipes on her.  That was so fun! 

Here's a set list I found looks mostly right to me might be missing a song around Statesboro blues.  They also teased out a little Mountain Jam during Jessica.  Lots of veterans and service boys in the crowd as well who were pumped to see their Allman Brother Band - a very good show, lots of energy - the sound was excellent did not use ear plugs - no ringing - awesome weather beautiful night surrounded by loved ones - what more could you ask for!

Don't Want You No More >
It's Not My Cross to Bear
Statesboro Blues
Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
That's What Love Will Make You Do
Midnight Rider >
Les Brers in A Minor
Blue Sky
Who to Believe
The Weight (w/ Grace Potter)
Done Somebody Wrong
One Way Out (w/ drums)
Jessica

Encore:
Into the Mystic*
Southbound