Title - 'Steve Goodman - Live '69'
Artist - Steve Goodman
For those not in the know, Steve Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984) was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago.
Famous for writing the song 'City of New Orleans,' which was recorded by Arlo Guthrie and many others (including Joan Baez, John Denver, The Highwaymen, and Judy Collins) in 1985, it received a Grammy award for best country song, as performed by Willie Nelson.
Goodman had a small, but dedicated group of fans for his albums and concerts during his lifetime, and is generally considered a musician's musician.
Funnily enough, his most frequently sung song is the Chicago Cubs anthem, "Go Cubs Go"!
Released April 3rd, 2020 via Omnivore Recordings, Live '69 is a quite wondrous 12-track collection of a previously unissued live performance from the folk icon.
It captures Goodman as his star was rising in the folk scene, and is notable because the show was comprised of 12 wide-ranging covers.
From standards to songs by Willie Dixon, Merle Haggard, and Bob Dylan, to a four-song medley including songs by The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane, it’s a unique show in Steve Goodman’s recorded body of work.
1. 'You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover'
2. 'Ballad of Spiro Agnew'
3. 'Bullfrog Blues'
4. 'Fast Freight'
5. 'Byker Hill'
6. 'John Barleycorn'
7. 'Country Pie'
8. 'Mama Tried'
9. 'Truck Drivin' Man'
10. 'Wonderful World of Sex'
11. 'Medley: Where are You Going / Eleanor Rigby / Drifter / Somebody to Love'
12. 'The Auctioneer'
Opening with the upbeat acoustic wonderment of 'You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover,' after a fun mid-song chat about what the audience is to expect from his show that night, that's backed by the lo-fi 'Ballad of Spiro Agnew,' the precise, finger-pickin' magnificence of 'Bullfrog Blues,' and then the dutiful Americana of 'Fast Freight' ("This is a train song. I think it's from The Kingston Trio, but I wouldn't want to bet on it").
The Celtic-infused 'Byker Hill' is one of my own personal favorites here, and is backed seamlessly by the fabled storytelling of 'John Barleycorn,' with the upbeat 'Country Pie' along next.
Featuring some rather lovely background harmonies, 'Mama Tried' follows in much the same vein, with 'Truck Drivin' Man' showcasing Goodman's prolific, pacey guitar skills perfectly.
We then get a quite magnificent flashback to an era long gone, but so rightly still revered, when the happy and cheerful fun of 'Wonderful World of Sex' ("You're concave, I'm convex. Welcome to the world of sex") is brought forth.
That is backed by the near-20 minute 'Medley' opus (featuring: 'Where are You Going / Eleanor Rigby / Drifter / Somebody to Love'), with the album coming to a close on the lyrically tongue-twisting, but nonetheless expertly tuneful (and showcasing a vocalization not too dissimilar to that of BNL's Ed Robertson), 'The Auctioneer.'
Containing over 60 minutes of covers and standards presented in Goodman’s inimitable style, it also features brand new liner notes from the show’s original recording engineer, Chicago folk-radio staple, Rich Warren.
As Warren himself states in his liner notes: “I’ve been involved with folk radio for 50 years, and have recorded hundreds of artists. I’ve rarely seen anyone with the energy, vibrancy, vast repertoire and crowd pleasing ability as Steve Goodman."
"This recording proves that even before he composed ‘City Of New Orleans’ he owned the stage.”
Official CD Purchase Link