Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Steve Goodman - 1974-Portland & 1976-Bryn Mawr

Steve Goodman
Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR
February 2, 1974
Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA
20 June 1976

FM Broadcasts (KINK-FM and WMMR-FM, respectively), excellent quality
Now available in lossless (FLAC) and
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's the great, underappreciated Steve Goodman, in a combination of 2 shows from the mid-seventies. Goodman is probably most widely known as the writer of 'the best damn train song ever written' (as John Prine says), 'City of New Orleans', as well as several other respected songs. Although Steve is fairly widely known for his songs (at least among other songwriters, folk, and country performers), he is much less-known to the public as a versatile performer and entertainer. Steve started out in the folk clubs around Chicago while still a student, and was already a regular when he met John Prine in 1970, and they became fast friends. It was Steve that was instrumental in getting John's big break, as when Steve was opening for Kris Kristofferson in 1971, he insisted that Kris go hear John play after their own show was over. This lead to Kristofferson hooking them up with Paul Anka, who ultimately got both Steve and John signed to recording contracts. Steve's biggest break came, however, when Arlo Guthrie recorded 'City of New Orleans' in 1972, and it became a huge hit. Although Steve's own albums didn't sell much at all, the success of that train song enabled him to devote himself to a full-time career in music, and he was always grateful for that opportunity. Although Steve has written several respected 'serious' songs (including 'New Orleans', 'Ballad of Penny Evans', 'My Old Man', etc), his real strength was in his quick wit and numerous humorous songs, ranging from mildly amusing ditties to wickedly clever, insightful, and hilarious spoofs and rantings. Although he never sold many albums, his live performances were very popular and widely acclaimed. What was so great about Steve was that his shows were always so entertaining and fun. He had an extremely engaging and captivating personality. He was always energetic, upbeat, and aiming to please. He was like your ideal version of a best friend, smart, funny, and great to be around, but just a regular guy, yet someone you could always count on. Nobody ever left a Steve Goodman show not feeling good and entertained, which is why anyone who ever saw him live on stage became a fan. It wasn't any one thing, but the combination of everything, the versatility of the songs and music, the fun atmosphere, Steve's jokes, storytelling, spontaneity, and ad libs, and Steve's surprisingly good guitar playing and vocal theatrics. It was just a good time for all.

The first show here is a short, opening set (he opened for Prine) with excellent sound that, although short, establishes his format and style. He usually started off with an uptempo version of an old ('30's, '40's) standard, then he follows with a mix of serious and humorous songs, stories, anecdotes, and humorous intros and set-ups. Included here is an extended version of the story of how Steve wrote 'You Never Even Call Me By My Name' with John Prine one drunken night in NY, so Prine fans should not miss this. This show was right around the time that I first saw him, and was totally captivated. Since this was a short show, I've combined it with another, longer show from 1976 (I did a little editing to remove some duplicated songs from the first show). This show was an extended opening set (opened for Warren Zevon) performed for radio. It's interesting to note how Steve keeps tweaking and adding new parts to the final verse of 'My Name' with each year. But the main thing that makes this show unique is the full jam session at end. At this show, after his opening solo portion, he invited some musician friends (country-bluegrass) from the area to join him for the last part of the set. Then, after a rousing 'City of New Orleans', an even larger jam session developed which included Billy Joel (who just happened to be around) on piano and Zevon himself sitting in on drums. They managed to rip through representative country, rock, and blues jams, and started into 'Twist and Shout', when the radio station finally cut them off, as they had gone well beyond the allotted time slot (so, there's only a fragment of 'TnS' remaining). But, it was a wonderful raucous jam, a bit unusual for a Goodman show, but great nonetheless (and Goodman managed to stay in charge, singing and directing traffic throughout). Anyway, hope you enjoy these Goodman shows. Hopefully, they will give you an idea of why Goodman was so liked and admired by other musicians and singer-songwriters all over the world.

01 Lady Be Good
02 Turnpike Tom
03 City of New Orleans
04 Ballad of Penny Evans
05 I Ain't Heard You Play No Blues
06 Chicken Cordon Bleus
07 Lincoln Park Pirates
08 The Auctioneer
09 You Never Even Call Me by My Name
10 The Dutchman

11 It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
12 Unemployed
13 Old Fashioned
14 Banana Republics
15 Can't Go Back
16 Lookin' for Trouble
17 This Hotel Room
18 You Never Even Call Me By My Name
19 Introduction of band, tuning up, etc.
20 Truck Drivin' Man
21 Blue Umbrella
22 Jesse's Jig (Beth's Bounce, Rob's Romp)
23 City of New Orleans
24 Mama Don't Allow It
25 Johnny B. Goode
26 Blues in C
27 Twist and Shout (cut)

tracks 1-10, 1974-02-02, Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR (KINK-FM)
tracks 11-27, 1976-06-20, Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA (WMMR-FM)

Featuring (tracks 20-27)
Lew London - mandolin & guitar
Winnie Winston - pedal steel guitar
Wanamaker Lewis - banjo
Doug Haywood - bass
Added band members
Mike Lieber - comb & tissue paper (track 24)
Billy Joel - piano (tracks 24-27)
Jerry Donahue - guitar (tracks 25-27)
Warren Zevon - drums (tracks 25-27)

New Links - Upgraded quality! (Updated 12/09/13)
mp3 - Steve Goodman_1974-Portland_1976-Bryn_Mawr_mp3.rar

Complete shows - full lossless versions
FLAC_1974 - Portland: Steve Goodman_1974-02-02_Portland_FLAC
FLAC_1976-Bryn Mawr: Steve Goodman_1976_Bryn Mawr_FLAC
Lossless versions are the complete, unedited shows for each date (contain additional songs not included on edited mp3 version)

More Goodman coming, so stay tuned


tonyg said...

Huge Steve Goodman fan. One of my first shows was seeing him at the Earl of Old Town when I was 17.

The Bryn Mawr file cannot download - I get an error message suggesting that I check to see if it corrupted.

Thanks for doing a Chicago series!

BBKron said...

So glad you're a fan, and great to hear from you, tonyg. I checked the file, download, and extraction again, and everything is working fine. Must have just been a problem with your download. Just try it again and it should be fine. More Goodman coming (and other Chicago goodies).

rockymustard said...

A huge thanks for the Steve Goodman. It's about time somebody put something of his out there. Don' let his memory die-his music never will.
Keep the great stuff coming.

Zed said...

Hi, Thanks so much for the Steve Goodman Shows. I'd known about Goodman for years but never really heard any of his music (other than Arlo's version of City Of NO). The build-up you gave him on your page made me want to download these shows and check them out for myself. And I found that you were right on the money! Steve was a wonderful, warm and engaging performer. So glad I came across these recordings! Looking forward to downloading the other two shows you've just posted. BTW - I happen to work right around the corner from where the Bryn Mawr show was recorded - the legendary, late, great Main Point. Oh, and since you're doing Chicago artists, have you ever heard of The Insiders? A great Roots Rock band from the 80's.

Unknown said...

I was at the Bryn Mawr show and Warren Zevon opened for Steve!!!

Duncanmusic said...

as of 6/30/13 Meg links not working

Unknown said...

Just in case you ever loose any of this, I also have a copy of the 1974 concert in WAV format. I also have the John Prine portion of the concert.

Don't check my gmail account regularly, so if you email me please be patient.