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Author Topic: A little love for Steve Goodman  (Read 4015 times)
Riverbend
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« on: May 20, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »

I was doing some reading today about one of my very favorite musician/singer/songwriters, the late great Steve Goodman. I find myself playing several of his songs regularly, like City of New Orleans and The Dutchman (written by Michael Peter Smith but one of Steve's favorites. Also found some interesting info on his guitars:
"According to Ben Elder of Acoustic Guitar ( http://www.acguitar.com/issues/ag53/gear53.html ):
 
Steve Goodman
 began playing guitar on a nylon-string Harmony, graduating next to a Harmony Sovereign and then to a maple Gibson Hummingbird. During his performing career, he favored medium and small-body acoustics. Although he played dreadnoughts early on, including a Martin D-28, he came to favor concert and grand concert sized instruments like '50s and '60s Gibsons, including an LG-1, an LG-3, and a CF-100E (concert-sized, with a sharp cutaway and a factory pickup). He also owned a Martin 000 that now belongs to John Prine, a 1950 Martin 5-18 given to him by Jerry Jeff Walker, and a Martin M-38 he played in the late '70s and '80s, which his then-cohort Maple Byrne describes as "a workhorse instrument."
 In Goodman's last two or three years of performing, the M-38 was seen less frequently in favor of a Maccaferri-style cutaway acoustic, imported from Japan by Saga. In conjunction with a Sony ECM-50 lavalier mic mounted internally, he used a Sunrise pickup in the Saga (although other soundhole pickups are visible in various photos). He also had an early tube direct box by Jim Demeter, the forerunner to the unit Sunrise now sells in conjunction with its pickups.
 Goodman's penchant for breaking strings is all the more remarkable given his preference for mediums. He assaulted the strings with green Jim Dunlop Tortex .73-millimeter or Fender medium-heavy flatpicks.
 On the rare occasions when he toured with a band, Goodman might be seen with a cherished '60s Fender Telecaster "with action high enough to walk under," according to Byrne. Various photos show Goodman playing an interesting array of other instruments, including a blond D'Angelico archtop and a semi-hollow electric Gibson ES-355.
 Late in his career (and long after teaming up with mandolin master Jethro Burns), Goodman added mandolin-family instruments to his repertoire, especially a Flatiron mandola and octave mandolin (whose lower two courses are tuned in octaves rather than in unison)."
Any Steve Goodman fans on the Larrivee Forum?

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JamesN
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 10:00:12 PM »

...Any Steve Goodman fans on the Larrivee Forum?...

Count me as one.

I had the good fortune to see him perform twice -- once at a tiny college campus coffee shop, and once as the opening act for Steve Martin in a large stadium.

Gone too soon.

I'm going to see John Prine, Goodman's old crony, in a few weeks. It will be my third John Prine concert.
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Riverbend
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 10:15:17 PM »

Prine's another one of those singer songwriters I really appreciate. I'm sure you'll enjoy the show.
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 10:20:09 PM »

Prine's another one of those singer songwriters I really appreciate. I'm sure you'll enjoy the show.

The last time I saw Prine was not long after his recovery from surgery for throat cancer. He was quite simply happy to there and to be alive, and kept saying so. His joy absolutely radiated that night.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 03:04:18 PM »

Saw Goodman in the 70's at the now defunct Golden Bear in Huntington Beach CA.  Ah, the good old days.
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 03:57:49 PM »

Goodman and Prine! 
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Queequeg
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 02:28:39 AM »

Talk Backwards
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ffinke
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 03:22:21 AM »

Any Steve Goodman fans on the Larrivee Forum?

I'm one! And if Arlo played Larrivee I'm sure he'd be one, too. Steve was taken from us way too soon but he left a better world for having been here.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 02:36:58 PM »

Nice to see some love for Goodman, And Prine! I'm a longtime "student" at Old Town School of folk Music in Chicago (now known unofficially just as Old town School), where Goodman taught and performed and generally hung out, and where he met Prine, and taught him his licks.

Steve Earle and Roger McGuinn also cut their guitar teeth at Old Town.

Anyway...Goodman is royalty in my world. Thanks for calling him out.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 12:20:58 PM »

I saw John Prine in concert this past weekend. His opening act was Holly Williams (granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr.). What a dynamite voice. She professed to being a huge John Prine fan, and said that touring with him has been the thrill of her lifetime.

Prine played for over 2 hours and, despite a voice ravaged by time and throat cancer, put on a show that was everything a John Prince concert should be. Polished and professional but with plenty of rough edges, irreverence, humor, wit, and tears.

Prine's voice is all but gone -- coarse and gravelly, and he sings everything a key or two below what he used to. But his spirit and emotion still shine through as much, if not more, as they ever did. He even managed to pull off the falsetto trill on "Eisenhower" at the end of Grandpa Was a Carpenter.

There were a lot of lighthearted moments -- when he forgot the lyrics to Fish & Whistle he asked the audience "What the hell is the third verse? I was thinking about something else..." along with some deeply profound ones. A fairly rowdy audience was absolutely dead silent during Sam Stone.

Prine admitted that the last verse of Dear Abby was autobiographical. You know -- the one that starts in the backseat of a car and ends up "signed, Just Married".

I wish he had told more stories between songs. One of my favorites was his lead-in to Hello In There. He talked about looking up to his grandparents when he was young, thinking that they knew the answers to everything. He said "When I was little I decided I wanted to grow up to be an old person. Now here I am, voilà." That broke the place up. But then it was deeply moving to hear him sing words he'd written as a young man about growing old, with his now tattered and aged voice. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

Oh, and just to keep this thread on track, Prine dedicated Souvenirs to "my friend Steve Goodman".

Holly Williams joined him for the encore. They ended with an obviously unrehearsed version of Paradise. Williams flubbed some lyrics and missed some cues, but that just made it all the more real and endearing.

A very special evening. May you continue to make us smile and cry for many more years Mr. Prine.
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Tio Kimo
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 01:20:47 PM »

Nice post, James, Thanks! Live music makes the world such a better place.
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 10:32:25 PM »

I saw John Prine in March 2012 and Leo Kottke was his opening act.

As they say in sports, they both left it all on the field that night.

I regret not having the opportunity to see Steve Goodman. Fortunately we have video and here is classic duet with a nice added bonus at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOTbg39-I5Q
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 10:40:10 PM »

Nice adds to the post folks...thanks!
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 03:33:24 AM »

I grew up in the Chicago area and saw Goodman perform many times in many places. In the mid-70's, he was one of the owners of a bar - music spot called, "Somebody Else's Troubles" (after one of his songs) and when it first opened it wasn't unusual for him to serve you a beer and then be up performing a half hour later. One of the singular most entertaining performer I have ever seen. A shame he left us so soon and sad he never found a larger following for his many talents.
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ffinke
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 01:33:54 AM »

Nice to see some love for Goodman, And Prine! I'm a longtime "student" at Old Town School of folk Music in Chicago (now known unofficially just as Old town School), where Goodman taught and performed and generally hung out, and where he met Prine, and taught him his licks.

Steve Earle and Roger McGuinn also cut their guitar teeth at Old Town.

Anyway...Goodman is royalty in my world. Thanks for calling him out.

The closest I ever came to the Old Town School was hearing Mark Dvorak in concert in Grand Rapids, MI. Really made me want to get to ChiTown to see what it's all about but I never did... bummer.

http://www.oldtownschool.org/teachers/Mark-Dvorak/

f
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2013, 01:15:39 PM »

huge fan, I still sing at least one of his songs in my shows, "Blue Umbrella".
Thanks for opening this thread!
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2013, 01:45:13 PM »

The closest I ever came to the Old Town School was hearing Mark Dvorak in concert in Grand Rapids, MI. Really made me want to get to ChiTown to see what it's all about but I never did... bummer.

http://www.oldtownschool.org/teachers/Mark-Dvorak/

f

good stuff! I'm at the school several times a week for over a decade now. Mark has been a guest "feature performer" at the open mic I host once a month. Nice guy and very talented. It's unlike anyplace else in the world. Just extraordinary.

Prine rolls through there all the time, still. When he does, he's just one of the crew, hangin' out in the halls. You're still breathin' so there's still time!
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 05:01:51 AM »

Steve Goodman was my hero when I was in college back in the 1970's. Had all his albums.

No true Steve Goodman fan should be without the definitive bio of him written by Clay Eels. Fantastic book. Well worth your time and money to pick up and read.
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2013, 05:29:08 PM »

Steve Goodman was a sweet heart of a guy, a little beach ball of a fellow with the warmest handshake I can remember.
 I still sing a few of his songs, a most under appreciated writer as well as player.
Very much missed, Spoon River, Blue Umbrella, and of course the epic City of New Orleans.
Story telling at it's best and he could really wail on that tele.
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2013, 06:21:23 PM »

                                                "You never even call me by my name" 

                                            Played that one many a time on the jukebox.
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