A little over 43 years ago, Meridian, MS, native Steve Forbert boarded a train bound for New York City. Twenty-one years old at the time, Forbert, with his guitar and harmonica, spent two years working his way up from street performer living at the YMCA to filling historic Greenwich Village clubs and signing a major label contract. By 1979, Forbert had really hit his stride, releasing Jackrabbit Slim, which produced his first top 40 hit, “Romeo’s Tune,” and afforded Forbert the opportunity to share his music with the world. On November 8th , 2019, Blue Rose Music will be releasing an extremely limited edition vinyl reissue of Jackrabbit Slim , remastered by the legendary Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound (The Eagles, The B-52s, Dave Matthews, Norah Jones). 500 copies will be pressed on red-colored wax , and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
In addition to “Romeo’s Tune,” Jackrabbit Slim introduced the world to Forbert’s Mississippi instincts and catchy-but-deep rock and roll tunes. From the rollicking “Say Goodbye To Little Jo” to the almost-reggae-tinged “Complications” to the straight-ahead folk of “January 23-30, 1978,” Jackrabbit Slim spans Forbert’s early creative potential, all while entertaining different types of listeners. “ Jackrabbit Slim was the release that put me on the map and gave me the audience that’s still with me today,” says Forbert. “Every singer/songwriter needs one of these!”
Artists like Keith Urban, Rosanne Cash, and Marty Stuart have covered songs from Jackrabbit Slim and Forbert’s extensive 20 album catalog. And in 2017, twenty-one artists paid tribute to Steve by recording An American Troubadour: The Songs of Steve Forbert , further validating the quality of Forbert’s musicianship, writing, and profound contributions to Americana and Folk music.
To celebrate this 40th anniversary, Forbert will perform Jackrabbit Slim in its entirety at The Iridium in New York City on December 5th. “ I’m preparing my New Jersey-based band for the show and I’m having no problem still relating to the stories in these songs,” says Forbert. “‘Romeo’s Tune,’ which I’ve sung hundreds of times, is still fun! And I’m still totally down with ‘It’s often said that life is strange, but compared to what?’” A full list of Forbert’s tour dates can be found below.
Catch Steve Forbert On Tour:
9/20 – Plymouth, MA – Spire Center for the Performing Arts
9/21 – Cambridge, MA – Club Passim
9/27 – Turnersville, NJ – Volume Live Music Cafe
9/28 – Beacon, NY – Towne Crier Cafe
9/29 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Caffe Lena
10/17 – San Antonio, TX – Sam’s Burger Joint
10/18 – Austin, TX – Cactus Cafe
10/19 – Houston, TX – McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
10/20 – Baton Rouge, LA – Red Dragon Listening Room
11/23 – New Hope, PA – New Hope Winery
11/24 – Piermont, NY – Turning Point
12/5 – New York City, NY – The Iridium*
12/7 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
12/8 – Memphis, TN – Lafayette’s Music Room
12/31 – Kennett Square, PA – Kennett Flash
*Vinyl Release Show
More on Steve Forbert:
From 1978 to 1982, Forbert released four acclaimed albums, including the Gold-certified Jackrabbit Slim with its #11 hit “Romeo’s Tune.” Recording success vaulted Steve onto a broader musical stage, touring the U.S. and Europe many times over. Steve’s early accomplishments would be a career for most artists, but he continues to write, record, and perform to this day. His artistic pursuit has resulted in twenty studio albums and numerous live releases, compilations, and accolades.
Like other great artists, Forbert embraces challenge as he did by recording, Any Old Time , a retrospective of the music of Meridian’s Jimmie Rodgers, which received a
2003 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album. As Rodgers’ music has inspired Forbert so has Forbert’s music influenced a new generation of artists.
In 2018, Steve released his memoir Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock. “ Like the earlier Bob Dylan and Patti Smith books, Forbert has a warm way of describing the pull of NYC and the ensuing challenges of getting traction, against the context of a small-town upbringing. He offers a sparkling observation about the pull of music as excellent as any I have seen,” says Entertainment Today.