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Strange Names & New Sensations

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Editors’ Notes

“Romeo’s Tune” signaled Steve Forbert's potential in the late ‘70s, but the ensuing years found him enjoying only cult success and not the mainstream audience for which he originally seemed destined. Three decades on, Forbert isn’t as prolific as he once was and while the songs now trickle from his pen, he twists his aged voice into the cracks with veteran experience and polish. “Strange Names (North New Jersey’s Got ‘Em)” is Forbert’s nod to both the absurdity of names such as “Ho-Ho-Kus” and “Hackensack” (see Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers for further discussion of this town) and the novelty folksinger crowd’s penchant for these annoying little foibles. “Man, I Miss That Girl” and “My Seaside Brown-Eyed Girl” maintain Forbert’s gentle romanticism. “The Baghdad Dream” delivers political protest. “Simply Spalding Gray” eulogizes the monologist’s suicide. “I Will Sing Your Praise” celebrates Forbert’s spiritualism. “Middle Age” and “Thirty More Years” ponder the present and future. And a re-recording of “Romeo’s Tune” sends Forbert back through his past for complete round-trip time travel.

Customer Reviews

Songs from heart, lovingly played

Steve Forbert writes songs that explain why you feel the way you do in your heart, and see the world the way you do with your eyes -- and he's done it again. Middle Age and Thirty More Years are poetic and witty reflections on life. Simply Spalding Gray is a surprise -- a four-minute musical bio that will send you looking for the namesake's videos. Man I Miss That Girl, You're Meant For Me, and My Seaside Brown-Eyed Girl are love songs with layers of sweet instrumentation melding beautifully with Forbert's unique voice. This is an artful collection of songs from a gifted songwriter, played with polish by outstanding musicians. With each listening, the melodies show more sparkle, the lyrics reveal more insight.

Is Good

Best album (or better) since Mission of the Crossroad Palms. Nice surpises include the fresh redo of Romeo's Tune, the anti-war rocker Baghdad Dream, and matter of fact Thirty More Years (and I'll be dead). Buy without fear.


Simply Spalding helps to keep the memory alive of a man who kept the art of story telling alive in a generation of detachment.


Born: December 13, 1954 in Meridian, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Anointed "the new Dylan" upon his recording debut, folk-rock singer/songwriter Steve Forbert was born in Meridian, MS, in 1954. After learning guitar at age 11, he spent his high school years playing in a variety of local bands before quitting his job as a truck driver and moving to New York City at the age of 21. There, he performed for spare change in Grand Central Station before working his way up to the Manhattan club circuit. After signing to Nemperor, Forbert debuted in 1978 with Alive on Arrival,...
Full Bio