From the Vault...


Steve Goodman
"Santa Ana Winds"

© Red Pajamas Records

Year of Release: 1988

track listing
  • Face On The
    Cutting Room Floor
  • Telephone
    Answering Tape
  • The One That Got Away
  • Queen Of The Road
  • Fourteen Days
  • Hot Tub Refugee
  • I Just Keep
    Falling In Love
  • The Big Rock
    Candy Mountain
  • Samta Ana Winds
  • You Better Get It
    While You Can
    (The Ballad Of
    Carl Martin)

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    Steve Goodman
    "Santa Ana Winds"

    You really can't go wrong with any Steve Goodman album. His first one as our Album Pick of the Week, was in 1998, Affordable Art. His second was a best of, The Best Of The Asylum Years Volume One, in 2007. Like Affordable Art, his Santa Ana Winds is another great assortment of off-Country, folkish, Americana styled music. Written or co-written by Goodman, he was a breath of fresh air, to listen to his songwriting and tales.

    In listening to Santa Ana Winds, there is basically a little bit of everything here. As mentioned, off-Country, Folk, Blues, Rock -- it's all here. In reading other reviews of this album, Jimmy Buffett was an artist compared to. And in a sense, Goodman's music can easily be compared to that of Buffett -- Feel Good Music.

    Great tunes, all in general here... If you need some good music to work by, I can easily suggest the following: "Face On The Cutting Room Floor," "The One That Got Away." A Country feel has "Telephone Answering Tape" and "Fourteen Days." (Quite a bit of the tracks here could easily fit the Country format.) Whether you call it Country or Americana, the rocking "Queen Of The Road" is another upbeat track.

    "Hot Tub Refugee" has a good Blues touch, as "I Just Keep Falling In Love" is a nice, pleasant tune; another one to have on while working.

    Speaking of Jimmy Buffett -- "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" -- (the only tune not written or co-written by Goodman, [traditional]) - it's a good feeling track to listen to, likewise the title track, has the Jimmy Buffett comparison. I later did some research, and found out that Buffett and Goodman worked together on Goodman's second album - 1972's Someone Else's Troubles. Buffett himself would record Goodman's songs on his own albums. We can also say the same about the Buffett comparison on the title track.

    The last track is one of those talking songs with some singing, similar to the style of Goodman's Chicago Cubs tune, "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request." -- "You Better Get It While You Can (The Ballad Of Carl Martin)" tels the story of Carl Martin, another musical entertainer that Goodman was honored to meet and play with. They became good friends before Martin passed away. Like Goodman, he had played in Chicago with other musicians. His earliest recording was in 1935, on Freddie Spruell's "Let's Go Riding." He played many folk and blues festivals in the 1970s, with musicians Ted Bogan and Howard Armstrong. By the time Goodman met him, he was pretty much up in age. Martin passed away in 1979; he was 73 years old.

    Looking back in building my Steve Goodman collection of his albums, most of his earlier releases were not available on CD at the time. (I pretty much started with his 1984 release, Artistic Hair and his releases afterwards, as he had begun his own record company, Red Pajamas Records.) As for his earlier releases on CD, they are out there at reasonable prices, except for his very first album, 1970's Gathering At The Earl Of Old Town.

    15 original albums, 7 best of compilations -- Steve Goodman's music is great to have. Unfortunately, he passed away of leukemia in 1984, at the age of 36. Shortly after his death, the Chicago Cubs won the Eastern Dvision title. (Goodman was a truly die-hard Cubs fan.) Before his death, he was asked to sing the national anthem in October. Since he had passed, Jimmy Buffett took his place, and dedicated the song to Goodman. Goodman's Cubs song, "Go Cubs Go" was used by the Chicago Cubs for years after his death, as it was especially played after a Cubs win. In April, 1998, some of his ashes were scattered at Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs. (The story I heard, they were scattered at home plate.) He was survived by his wife and three daughters.

    If you haven't discovered Steve Goodman's music, absolutely, and please ... do so. If you've heard songs such as "The City Of New Orleans," (Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson), "Banana Republics" (Jimmy Buffett) -- these songs were written by Steve Goodman. He was a superb, outstanding songwriter, and always had a story in his songs to tell. He may not have been highly suggested as he should have, but for those who remember him, his music, and grew up with his music, he will always cherish his music. Likewise, with him being gone since 1984, his legacy and his music will continue onward in many generations to come.

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    Liberace--Classic Album Collection