Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b '55, Meridian MS) Singer- songwriter of a new generation. To NYC '76, landed record contract after many gigs; Alive On Arrival '78 saw him hailed as the new Dylan because of scratchy, distinctive vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica playing: confident debut incl. 'Goin' Down To Laurel'. Jackrabbit Slim '79 was more of the same, with excellent 'Romeo's Tune' and 'Sadly Sorta Like An Opera', and reached the top 20 albums in Billboard; but Little Stevie Orbit '80 slipped and the excellent Steve Forbert '82, with songs such as 'Prisoner Of Stardom', effective cover of 'When You Walk In The Room', did not make the top 150. Though a favourite with critics and clearly having more to offer than most contemporaries, there was no room in the prevailing musical climate, but as the market became larger and more fragmented he could record for fans: he came back with Streets Of This Town '88 and The American In Me '92 on Geffen, Mission Of The Crossed Palms '95 on Giant. What Kinda Guy? was a best- of the earlier work on Columbia Legacy; Rocking Horse Head '96 on Revolution a new set with backing by Jeff Tweedy's Wilco, 'Good Planets Hard To Find' typical of his best. Live Here's Your Pizza '97 on Demon was from '87 gigs.