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Steve Forbert

Rock Ridge Music 2015

Review by David Bowling


Steve Forbert’s career reached its commercial zenith during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. During the punk, heavy metal, and disco era; his brand of thoughtful and laid back singer/songwriter music was a breath of fresh air. Now over four decades into his career, he continues to release his brand of traditional rock and folk fusions. He may not explore any new areas with his 16th studio album but he continues to cover the old ground extremely well.

Forbert has always concentrated on lyrics and melodies that appeal to mainstream America. Here he explores temptation, love, turmoil, life and, appropriately as he has turned 60, survival wrapped in simple music.

In many ways it is an album of counterpoints. There is the smooth and catchy title track with a memorable chorus and signature harmonica solo, which is balanced by the maudlin album closing “Whatever Man.” “The snappy rockabilly of “A Big Comeuppance” is countered by the acoustic “Drink Red Wine.”

The albums strongest track is “Devil (Here She Comes Now),” which explores the eternal conflict of conscience and decisions. The only cover song is an oddly creative up-tempo take on the Broadway hit “Send In The Clowns.”

He is supported by his touring band. Keyboardist Kami Lyle, bassist Joey Spampimato,  guitarist Tad Price, and drummer Lou Cataldo form a basic and effective group and know when to step forward and when not to get in the way.

Compromised is above all a satisfying album with music that contains subtle textures. It takes its place with some of his best work such as Alive On Arrival, Jackrabbit Slim, and Little Stevie Orbit. It should appeal to his loyal fan base.

Rating: B+