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Book Reviews
'Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock'
By: Steve Forbert w/ Therese Boyd - PFP Publishing - $16.99

Description: More than four decades have passed since Steve Forbert made his way to New York City from his Meridian, Mississippi birthplace in quest of a career in music.

It was the most unlikely time and place for a folk singer to leap into the fray in a burgeoning scene where new wave and punk were emerging while he took the stage as a the archetypal folkie, armed with just an acoustic guitar and sheaf of very personal songs.

Now, those life-changing experiences have been chronicled by Forbert in 'Big City Cat: My Life In Folk-Rock', co-written with Therese Boyd, that will be released September 14th by PFP Publishing.

Verdict: Reading this highly informative, and wildly entertaining new book, we quickly discover that as a young man from Meridian, Mississippi, Steve Forbert still managed to carve out a niche in New York City’s vibrant club scene.

Playing now-iconic venues like Gerde’s Folk City and CBGB’s during a time when rootsy rock was fading out and the Ramones, Talking Heads, and other New Wave and punk acts were moving in, it was in Mill's Tavern in Greenwich Village where Forbert was first able to get paying work.

An old bar that had seen better days, they still wanted live music to entice customers in, so Forbert dutifully applied. The fun part about this story is that to play there you yourselves had to physically construct the stage that you were to then sing and perform on!

Throughout this colorful, and no holds barred autobiography, we also travel with Forbert as he took his whirlwind tour of Alive on Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim on the road. Continuing to write songs along the way, he could sense the sea change within the industry. Especially the actual production of the records being physically recorded and created.

A fun story is one where Forbert recounts a gig in Hannover, Germany with Bryan Adams where he needed a digital tape to record his set and Bryan himself went out of his way to get one for him. That was when he was playing with the Bolt Uprights and followed on stage the band simply known as Texas.

Trust me when I say that there are many, oh so many more delicious stories captured here on these pages from Forbert and each one is seamlessly linked from chapter to chapter. Whether they be recollections of pain, stress, joy, heartbreak, heartache, triumph or even surprise, 'Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock' is one of the best autobiographical reads of 2018.

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