Growing up in Meridian, Steve Forbert first picked up the guitar at age 10 and spent his high school years playing in a variety of local bands. Frustrated with his job as a truck driver, the restless singer/songwriter moved to New York City at 21, where he performed for spare change in Grand Central Station before working his way up through the Manhattan club circuit. Performing at Folk City and eventually opening for artists like Talking Heads and John Cale at CBGB, Forbert became something of a local sensation and signed his first record deal with the CBS-distributed label Nemperor.
Released at the height of the new wave explosion, his 1978 debut Alive On Arrival offered a first look at his colorful mix of spare acoustic introspection and scrappy rock 'n' roll and became one of the year's most acclaimed albums. While critics tagged himlike Bruce Springsteen and John Prine before him"the next Dylan," Forbert never put too much stock in the comparison and forged his own path, expanding his audience substantially with 1979's commercial breakthrough Jackrabbit Slim and his era defining hit single, "Romeo's Tune."
By this time, the heyday of the classic 70s singer-songwriters was quickly fading. Songs by America, Carole King, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot were quickly giving way on the pop charts to Van Halen, Foreigner and Pat Benatar. As the seventies gave way to the eighties, Forbert's plainspoken, heartfelt early recordings were among the few keeping the joyful and innocent spirit of the genre alive.
Given the mythic nature of Forbert's early career, one can be forgiven for wondering what he's done since parting company with Geffen Records after they released The American in Me in 1992. The fact is that Steve Forbert has never stopped writing, singing and performing and has released twelve studio albums, three live sets and four DVDs since 1978 - to say nothing of the several compilations and archival releases that are available through his website:
me & thee coffeehouse (View)
28 Mugford St.
Marblehead, MA 01945