A “new Dylan” of the Seventies, Steve Forbert breaks fresh ground in Central Texas this weekend. Friday, he makes his debut performance at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Saturday, he bows in South Austin’s listening room of choice, Strange Brew.
“I’ve never been to Kerrville, and that’s why I wanted to do it,” he explains. “I’ve heard about it at least since Michelle Shocked got discovered there.”
Originally from Mississippi, the 59-year-old singer-songwriter emerged during the New York punk/New Wave/CBGBs scene and eventually hit the Top 20 with “Romeo’s Tune.” Forbert’s career has experienced its ups and downs since then, but these past decades have transformed him into a road warrior. Now, he travels his oeuvre to an audience that appreciates his kind demeanor and songs that grab at humanity’s heart and soul.
“The people that come to see me know the records through the years and know where I’m coming from, so that part’s getting more fun all the time,” he advises.
Where once his compositional output kept up a constant flow, of late he’s slowed a bit.
“As you get older, your life isn’t as free to focus on certain things, like listening to music or playing in a rock & roll band, or struggling and working your way up. As you work your way down the line, your life is just not going to be that simple. You have a lot more distraction and it’s harder to focus just on songwriting and letting that process flow.
“I mostly write at night when things get really quiet. It used to not matter. I’d write on tour buses. But it was one of the few things I had to think about. If your life is still the same way at age 23 when you’re 53, you’ve probably got a problem.”– Jim Caligiuri