Sunday, March 24, 2013

CD Review: Steve Forbert's First Two Albums Get Re-Released With Bonuses

Seventies singer/songwriter Steve Forbert broke through with his 1978 debut album "Alive On Arrival" and continued the success with his follow-up "Jackrabbit Slim." Now on March 26th, Blue Corn Music will re-release those lone forgotten albums along with a load of bonus tracks.
Forbert became a regular at the famous CBGB's along side The Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. His acoustic, storytelling weaved tales of wonder as his slightly weathered voice sounded as if he experienced every story first hand. The songs on his debut album sound so well-crafted that you would never have thought it's his first album. Song's like "Steve Forbert's Midsummer Night's Toast" and "Settle Down" have that Randy Neuman feeling, while "What Kinda Guy" has a little bit of an Elvis Presley swagger to it. Forbert gives us some seventies funk when he plugs in for "Big City Cat," but it's the acoustic ballads like "Tonight I Feel So Far Away From Home" that we truly get to appreciate his songwriting talents. The original album gets expanded with five bonus tracks consisting of session outtakes. The best of these is the Jackson Browne sounding "House Of Cards."
The following year Steve Forbert released his sophomore album, the more electric "Jackrabbit Slim." The album began with his biggest hit, "Romeo's Tune" (covered by Keith Urban on his Greatest Hits album) as you notice how much Forbert has expanded upon his troubadour demeanor. Songs like "Wait" and "Make It All So Real" still paint such vivid picture in your mind with his words that you can't help but wonder, what type of songs were left off the original album. "Jackrabbit Slim" adds seven bonus tracks to the original ten to give us a full CD worth of great music. Among the bonus songs we get the playful Irish jaunt "The Oil Song," the big rock sound of "Smokey Windows" and a live version of "Romeo's Tune" recorded at The Palladium in 1978.
Also included with this 2CD set is new essay from Rolling Stone editor David Wild. To find out more about this release, please visit

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