Years before Americana music earned its own category at the Grammy Awards, Steve Forbert helped pioneer the genre’s mix of folk, roots-rock, and richly delivered storytelling. He’s been a torchbearer of that sound for more than four decades since, navigating the twists and turns of an acclaimed career that’s taken him from gold records to Grammy nominations, from New York City’s CBGB to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, from his 1978 debut album to 2022’s vital and versatile Moving Through America.
Moving Through America marks a new chapter in a story that’s still unfolding. These are songs for the head, the heart, and the heartland, from the acoustic funky-tonk of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies to the Tom Petty-worthy Say Hello to Gainesville, which salutes the head Heartbreaker himself.
Backed by the same band that appeared on his collection of cover songs, Early Morning Rain, in 2020, he sounds every bit as spirited as he did in the late 1970s, back when he left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, and headed to New York in search of new horizons.
“I was a fan of the Byrds and The Rolling Stones,” he recalls of those early years up North, “but I also loved the singer/songwriters from that era. Country music, too. Gram Parsons was a real touchstone for me, and there wasn’t a name yet that could encompass all those sounds. I wanted to keep that sound alive with my own music, and I didn’t care that this was the late 1970s in New York City. I watched pop music go through a lot of changes, particularly in the eighties, but it never made me want to change what I was doing. I was making music that sounded like the way I felt.”
Moving Through America is an album of songs that’ll get under your skin. Once again, this legacy songwriter finds narrative gold in the everyday, delivering a batch of songs that show he’s got plenty of fuel left in the tank. Steve Forbert is still moving through America, and with his latest album, he takes us with him.
Steve is currently on tour, with a date at Thorner Victory Hall in Leeds announced for June 29th.