Steve Goodman - Live at the Earl of Old Town

Steve Goodman
Live at the Earl of Old Town

(Red Pajamas)

The Music Box's #6 concert recording of 2006

First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2006, Volume 13, #9

Written by John Metzger

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Considering the conviction with which Steve Goodman delivers the observational humor of Men Who Love Women Who Love Men, the sardonic Lincoln Park Pirates (his ode to the notorious towing company that terrorized Chicagoans during the late í70s), and Shel Silversteinís comical Three Legged Man, itís hard to consider them to be novelty songs. Then again, neither is Goodmanís adaptation of When the Saints Go Marching In, which, being an unapologetic fan of the Chicago Cubs, he dutifully revamps into a battle cry for the perennially disappointing North Side baseball club. After all, performing before a hometown crowd does have its privileges. Nevertheless, itís when he is joined by harmonica player Corky Siegel and mandolinist Jethro Burns that Live at the Earl of Old Town hits its stride. Both he and Siegel demonstrate their instrumental prowess as they alternately find redemption and beauty within the impassioned gospel-blues of Iíll Fly Away and Grand Canyon. Likewise, with Burns at his side, he unleashes a positively buoyant rendition of Family Tree. Elsewhere, he dabbles in Django Reinhardt-inspired swing on a spirited cover of Red Red Robin, and he respectably tackles a few of his favorite country songs, such as Terry Fellís Truck Driviní Man and Leon Payneís Lost Highway. Taken from a series of recently discovered tapes that originally were recorded in August 1978, six years before he succumbed to leukemia, Live at the Earl of Old Town offers a playful, relaxed, and wonderfully intimate glimpse at Goodman in his prime. starstarstar Ĺ

Live at the Earl of Old Town is available from Barnes & Noble.
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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2006 The Music Box