Yesterday I flew into Jersey and went straight from Newark International airport into Newark proper and the Prudential Center. My friend Robert had arranged through his friend Matt, two tickets for my brother and I to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. There is just nothing like seeing Bruce in Jersey and I knew this was a show I did not want to miss… but up until Robert’s amazing favor it was not looking good. So there we were negotiating with the police officers to let us park for a spell so we could go pick up the tickets from Will Call. We did and were thrilled to see pit wrist bands and passes for the E Street Lounge. After a free dinner from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, who happened to be doing a test run of their pulled pork for their newest opening right next door to the arena, we made our way into the lounge… Yes, the food was excellent… great sauce!
We did not make it into Little Steven’s Underground Garage Lounge this time around… I really tried… but I did get to say hello to Max Weinberg and remind him we met at the Grammy Museum… He actually seemed to remember. We met and took photos with the wonderful and sweet Jake Clemons… so amazing… and I got to meet one of my favorite artists, the fantastic singer-songwriter Steve Forbert.
I have not downloaded my photos yet, but will add them in here when I do… Thought I could just pull them off Facebook, but it’s not working…
Steve Forbert – Mission Of The Crossroad Palms
I had a really nice and long conversation with Steve and told him he would be the blog of the day, but I have to say that this album has always been one of my favorites, and I swear that is without any influence… I told him I saw him at the Stone Pony years ago… it was a fantastic show… and I told him he should play The Canyon Club by me… That would be such a great venue for him!
Everyone knows the classic “Romeo’s Tune”, which to me is one of those perfect songs… but just check out The Best Of Steve Forbert: What Kinda Guy to rediscover a whole slew of great tracks like “What Kinda Guy”, “Ya Ya (Next To Me)”, “Song For Katrina” (my other fave), “The Sweet Love You Give (Sure Goes A Long Way)”, “Going Down To Laurel”, “It Isn’t Gonna Be That Way” (this one slays me) and “The Oil Song”, which is especially fun live!
Mission came out in 1995 and is one of three albums of his to be produced by the prolific Garry W. Tallent… best known as the bass player for Bruce and original member of the E Street Band.
AllMusic loves this one as much as I do… “With Mission of the Crossroad Palms, Steve Forbert turns in an album of craftsmanlike tunes on his seventh album, including story-songs such as “It Sure Was Better Back Then” (a working man’s reminiscence) and “The Trouble with Angels” (in which an ex-beauty queen robs the till to pay for her infertility treatments). There is also one of Forbert’s philosophical treatises (“It Is What It Is – And That’s All”) and the humorously multi-referential “Lay Down Your Weary Tune Again” (risky territory for a former “new Dylan”). But the best song may be Forbert’s ode to infidelity, “Don’t Talk to Me.” The point, though, is that he has flowered into a distinctive, broad-based songwriter and that, in E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent, he has found a sympathetic producer able to showcase his voice and lyrics properly.”
I love all the tracks they mention, and the whole album start to finish, but would add “Is It Any Wonder”, “Oh, To Be Back With You” and “So Good To Feel Good Again” to my highlights. The latter I find especially inspiring!
This is just such a strong and wonderful record, and I have to say running into Steve last night was a real highlight and joy for me… Now let’s get him out to Agoura!!!
So thank you Robert and Matt… thank you, Bruce… and sincerely, thank you, Steve!!!