Steve Forbert is well traveled. From his early days busking in New York City, through the “New Dylan” hype of his first two albums, to today with about 20 records released and thousands upon thousands of miles logged, Steve has played to audiences around the world. His longevity is due to his strong songwriting, exceptional playing, a unique voice and a personal relationship with his legion of fans. On Sunday night – his first time at the new Club Helsinki in Hudson – Steve wasted no time getting to know those in attendance and where they were coming from. Taking requests and addressing the crowd (some by name), Steve brought them into the fold right from the get-go, clapping along, singing choruses and making them feel very much a part of the show… and they loved it.
Accompanied by lead acoustic guitarist Clay Barnes, Steve made his way down the many avenues of his career. He touched on his most known songs (“Romeo’s Tune,” “Going Down To Laurel”) and many album tracks, as well as distinct covers of the traditional “Shenandoah” and a reverent take of the classic rock staple “Born To be Wild.” (“I don’t know why,” he admitted. “I just like it.”) The crowd moaned when he said he only had about five more songs to do, so he continued to play well past the five promised, again taking many suggestions from the faithful. One of the highlights of the evening was the dark, yet touching “30,000 Men,” a song so instep with today’s economic situation.
Coming at the tail end of the three-day Hudson Music Festival, the concert was the perfect way to wind-down on a rainy Sunday night in Hudson. Thanks, Steve! See you next time the road brings you this way.
Review and photographs by Tim Livingston.