||From the Vault...
© Red Pajama Records
Year of Release: 1983
If Jethro Were Here
How Much Tequila(Did I Drink Last Night)
When My Rowboat Comes In
Take Me OutTo The Ballgame
A Dying Cub Fan'sLast Request
Watchin' Joey Glow
Grand Canyon Song
Steve Goodman related sites:
Steve Goodman's music features folk, and his lyrics labeled him as a
storyteller. His 1983 release, Affordable Art, features some very
impressive storytelling tunes.
The album starts out with the only instrumental, If Jethro Were Here,
a folksy tune featuring Goodman on mandola. It also has a somewhat new-age
jazz sound to it.
Vegematic tells the story of a dream Goodman had, in which he
answers every late night mail order ads. To name a few items received in the
dream were a vegematic, a pocket fisherman, History of Life magazine, a Boxcar
Willie album, a Ginsu knife, a bamboo steamer, a Garden Weasel, and a tie dyed
day-glow souvenir shirt from Six Flags Over Burbank.
Old Smoothies is a slow peaceful folk ballad, and Talk Backwards
has a very humorous touch, where it has a novelty sound to it, where talking
backwards can be a new sensation.
How Much Tequila (Did I Drink Last Night) has a more upbeat rock
tempo than folk music, where this song could easily be recorded by country
performers and/or Jimmy Buffett.
When My Rowboat Comes In is another peaceful ballad, where all in
all, whatever weather prevails, the rowboat will make everything all right
wherever you go rowin'.
Souvenirs features great accoustic guitars as Goodman is joined
on vocals with John Prine. This song is perfect for an MTV UnPlugged event.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame is the traditional tune heard in the
7th-inning stretch in baseball, yet Goodman's version has some fancing plucking
on the accoustic guitar in the style of guitar great Chet Atkins.
A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request is a song about a dying Cub fan.
(Maybe it was Goodman himself -- Affordable Art was released in 1983.
Goodman was dying of leukemia, and passed away the following year in 1984.)
All Cub fans ask the mighty question, "When will we see the Cubs in a World
Series, and hopefully win?" I think Goodman sang it best when he said:
But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant was the year
that we dropped the bomb on Japan.
The chorus is also just as great:
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around?
When the snow melts away, do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy covered burial ground?
When I was a boy
They were my pride and joy,
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave, the land of the free
And the door-mat of the National League
Course we can't really complain about the 1998 Cubs. They made it to the
playoffs, but couldn't get past Atlanta. Despite they didn't make it the World
Series, Sammy Sosa broke Roger Maris' homerun record, as he was neck-in-neck
in having the most homers with St. Louis' Mark McGuire.
California Promises is another great ballad with beautiful musical
arrangements. Watchin' Joey Glow is another upbeat rock tune like
How Much Tequila (Did I Drink Last Night). The album ends with another
UnPlugged-type song, Grand Canyon Song. This one is a little bit
bluesy mixed with a folk touch.
Defining folk music, Steve Goodman's Affordable Art can be
compared to such artists as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Harry Chapin, Jim Croce,
Jimmy Buffett, and the novelty of Larry Groce's Junk Food Junkie.
It can also be compared to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album.
Steve Goodman was a genius. His music has always been highly praised by
those who knew him and by those who were inspired by his music. He originally
wrote the song City Of New Orleans, recorded most famous by Arlo Guthrie.
While he was alive, his albums never achieved the high-rank status it should
Affordable Art is truly enjoyable, as we recognize Steve Goodman's
humor in common-day living. It's a shame he only lived 36 years, as a result
It would be an obvious choice to discover or re-discover Steve Goodman's
music. His music is truly enjoyable and never tiring. Affordable Art
truly passes those tests, and it's an album I will always playing enjoy again
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