New Release Section: Steve Forbert, “Buffalo Nickel”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Steve Forbert has shared a new song, “Buffalo Nickel,” which appears on his new album, Moving Through America, out May 13 on Blue Rose.

Forbert explains the inspiration behind the track: “As the white man’s culture moved ever westward, two elements that were very negatively affected by it all were the Native American culture AND the millions of range roaming buffalo that were slaughtered for sport by the likes of ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody… the Buffalo nickel is pretty ironic when you think about it. On one side a profile of an American Indian, on the other side, a buffalo! This five-cent coin was in everyday use for twenty-five years!”

Forbert was an early proponent of what evolved into the Americana sound, helping to pioneer the genre’s mix of folk, roots-rock, and richly delivered storytelling. He’s been a torchbearer of that sound since he burst into the national consciousness with his iconic 1979 hit “Romeo’s Tune.” In the four decades since, he’s navigated the twists and turns of an acclaimed career that’s taken him from gold records to Grammy nominations, from New York City’s CBGB to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, from his 1978 debut album to 2022’s vital and versatile Moving Through America.

As always with Forbert, it’s the songs that take center stage. Filled with character portraits and quirky insights, Moving Through America unfolds like a mosaic of modern-day American life, delivered by someone who’s been crisscrossing the country for nearly half a century. With an author’s nuance and a humorist’s wit, Forbert offers glimpses into the everyday lives of his characters: a dog running from the sky’s thunderclaps; a Houston man preparing to take his girlfriend out for fried oysters; a road-tripping motorist steadily making his way across the Midwest. Forbert inhabits each character, turning their storylines into first-person narratives that blur the lines between subject and scribe.

Moving Through America marks a new chapter in a story that now spans nearly four-and-a-half decades. These are songs for the head, the heart, and the heartland, from the acoustic funky-tonk of “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” to the Tom Petty-worthy “Say Hello to Gainesville,” which salutes the head Heartbreaker himself.

Backed by the same band that appeared on his collection of cover songs, Early Morning Rain, in 2020, he sounds every bit as spirited as he did in the late 1970s, back when he left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, and headed to New York in search of new horizons.

“I was a fan of the Byrds and The Rolling Stones,” he recalls of those early years up North, “but I also loved the singer/songwriters from that era. Country music, too. Gram Parsons was a real touchstone for me, and there wasn’t a name yet that could encompass all those sounds. I wanted to keep that sound alive with my own music, and I didn’t care that this was the late 1970s in New York City. I watched pop music go through a lot of changes, particularly in the eighties, but it never made me want to change what I was doing. I was making music that sounded like the way I felt.”

Releasing 20 albums in twice as many years, he has remained prolific well into the 21st century, serving as an elder statesman of Americana music while still writing music that’s spry and steadfast. He’s also a member of the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame, author of the lauded memoir Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock, and a Grammy nominee for his tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, Any Old Time. Meanwhile, his older songs continue to resonate in today’s world, with Keith Urban recording his own version of “Romeo’s Tune” on the artist’s platinum-certified album Greatest Hits: 18 Kids.

Moving Through America is an album of songs that’ll get under your skin. Once again, this legacy songwriter finds narrative gold in the everyday, delivering a batch of songs that show he’s got plenty of fuel left in the tank. Steve Forbert is still moving through America, and with his latest album, he takes us with him.

Steve has announced tour dates through June, including two weeks in the UK. For complete dates go to https://www.steveforbert.com

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