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Somebody Else's Troubles

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Album Review

The electrifying energy, accomplished guitar, and great lyrics of Steve Goodman lit up the musical world all too briefly. Cut down at the age of 36 by leukemia, Goodman left a lasting legacy of memorable music, which can be heard from front-porch gatherings to homages by his friend, John Prine. Best known for penning "The City of New Orleans," which Prine called "the best damned train song ever written," Goodman was a consummate performer and singer/songwriter. His skills are in evidence on this CD, a 1999 release of an album Goodman recorded in 1973. It contains some of the musician's best-loved tunes, including the humorous and often requested "Chicken Cordon Blues" and "The Vegetable Song (The Barnyard Dance)." The recording illustrates the range of Goodman's skills and concerns. His "Song for David" shows just what a great guitar player he was. In fact, he had provided guitar backup for some of the artists who appear on this recording, including Bob Dylan and David Bromberg. Goodman penned the riveting "Ballad of Penny Evans," his a cappella anti-Vietnam War protest song. He touches on the meaning of love and sanity in Michael Smith's poignant "The Dutchman." The native of Chicago sings of the strongarm tactics of an infamous towing company in "The Lincoln Park Pirates." His father was a used car salesman in Chicago. The advice that the senior Goodman gave him was that buying one was just getting somebody else's troubles; it became the inspiration for the title cut on the album. Goodman is joined by Maria Muldaur on vocals. They sing together in beautiful harmony on this piece, as well as "Don't Do Me Any Favors Anymore." "Somebody Else's Troubles" perhaps best sums up Goodman's dryly humorous viewpoint: "As long as Fate is out there busting somebody else's bubble/Everything's gonna be alright." Goodman is still missed on the college concert and folk festival circuit. His loyal friend John Prine continues to acknowledge Goodman's influence at each performance. This recording presents a good overview of the prodigious talent and gifts that Steve Goodman gave the music world.

Customer Reviews

This Album Is The Best! It's About Time!!!

It's about time a true storyteller such as Steve Goodman is given the credit he is due! His music is and always will be the benchmark many artists will try to achieve, whether in mainstream or in other areas. This album is a must have in ANY collection, regardless of musical tastes! You won't be sorry!

Steve's Best

I loved this album when I first bought it in the mid 70's and still do. If you never heard any of Steve's songs, buy this one. However, this is not the original album art. The original was photographed in a loft on Kinzie St in Chicago, in Michael O'Sullivan's photo studio there and featured only Steve, John Prine, and some fella listed as "Marvin Gardens" (Jimmy Buffet, in a Ripple Wine Tshirt). Lots of Chicago connections.

Somebody Else's Trouble

Over the years there have been special albums and people. This album qualifies for me. I remember buying this album and trying to figure out who Mavin Gardens was. Low and behold it was Jimmy Buffett, before he was Jimmy Buffett. In a word it describes that time in music, making music was more important that who was footing the bill. As a long time Chicagoan, who moved to warmer climates. There was never a collect of musicians who enjoyed their work and maybe never received the proper rewards. I for one can tell you that it reminds me of some of the best times I have ever known. Classic Mustang Mo


Born: July 25, 1948 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Growing up in what he called "a Midwestern middle-class Jewish family," Steve Goodman began playing the guitar as a teenager. He was influenced by the folk revival of the early '60s and by country performers such as Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. After attending college in the mid-'60s, he turned to playing in Chicago clubs by night and writing commercial jingles by day. In 1971, he opened for Kris Kristofferson and was seen by Paul Anka, who financed demo recordings that led to a contract with...
Full Bio

Customer Ratings


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