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Live at the Earl of Old Town

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 19, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

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Though the late Steve Goodman is remembered mainly as the writer of "City of New Orleans" (and perhaps also as John Prine's best friend), Chicagoans knew him as the most ebullient performer on a dynamic folk circuit, and one of the best guitarists as well. The Earl of Old Town was Goodman's home turf, where the audience would know his topical "Lincoln Park Pirates" (about a notorious towing company) from its first notes and friends from blues harpist Corky Siegel to venerable mandolinist Jethro Burns would join their friend onstage to offer support. On this 1978 live recording, Goodman's revival of "Red Red Robin" makes for an unlikely showcase of his guitar virtuosity, while "Lost Highway," "Truck Drivin' Man," and "The Auctioneer" show his fondness for classic (and occasionally corny) country. His offbeat sense of humor found a kindred spirit in Shel Silverstein, whose "Three Legged Man" he covers. (Goodman's own "Men Who Love Women Who Love Men" could pass as a Silverstein song.) As the romp through "Rockin' Robin" and the adaptation of "Saints" into "When the Cubs Go Marching In" attest, the main point of a Goodman performance was having a good time. Goodman, his family, and his close friends knew that he had leukemia years before he died of it in 1984 at the age of 36. Yet a performance like this shows how Goodman got the most out of his life, and how his fans got the most out of Goodman. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Red Pajamas
  • ASIN: B000HIVJ5A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,553 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Stanley on November 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Since the only review here asks for someone to review this album. I will endeavor to do so. However, I'm far from a Steve Goodman expert, but living near Chicago for most of my life I'm familiar with his work.

This is an acoustic, mostly solo set recorded in 1978. While I initially worried about listening to a set from which nothing has seen the light of day in 28 years, the audio quality is extremely good. Nothing to worry about there.

The performance is a typical set of Goodman's songs, which usually fall into either good-natured ribbings or sentimental portraits (and sometimes a combination of the two). Songs like the one he borrows from Shel Silverstein (Three-Legged Man) also seem a natural fit for his repetoire.

Goodman apparently had robins on the brain that day as he covers "When the Red, Red Robin Goes Bob, Bob, Bobbing Along" and "Rocking Robin" toward the beginning and end of the concert. (It seems the disc runs in the chronological order of the set). He also does a fairly bluesy rendition of the country classic "Lost Highway".

Goodman doesn't address the audience much between songs, nor does he banter with Jethro Burns (mandolin) or Corky Siegel (harmonica) who show up for a few numbers.

Goodman's rendition of his own "City of New Orleans" is a very different interpretation of the Arlo Guthrie version that made it famous.

He ends with an updating of "When the Saints Go Marching In" with lyrics celebrating (usually) then-current Chicago Cubs players and the state of baseball in the city of Chicago. Goodman's enthusiasm when he stops singing and mostly shouts his battle cry of the north-side team carries the audience and the listener along with him.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Friends I can't say enough about this show and its intelligent laughter.

The glorious guitar of an accurate string flicker filling the smiles in the room. you can feel the aura of the crowd and Steve all as one.

A really beautiful show and one of the best releases to date.

Grand sound that lingers through the corridors of your mind.

thanks for this new release!

always waiting for the next one!

Support Steve Goodman and Family

Buy the albums - they're ALL great!
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Format: Audio CD
The release provides an excellent example of Steve Goodman's energy and enjoyment in making and interpreting music. He conveys a joy in performing that comes out of this recording. The song selection, such as "Lincoln Park Pirates" and "Three-Legged Man" bring a smile to one's face. He has an interesting reflection on today's debate evolution vs. creation in "The Family Tree". Another interesting social commentary is found in his "Men Who Love Women Who Love Men". This release includes "Old Smoothies", which is a sentimental look at attending the Ice Capades with his grandparents in the 1950's. Something I could relate to having grown up on the Chicago area and seeing the "Smoothies" actually perform - "when the Blackhawks were on the road".
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Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful recording of what must have been a great series of shows. Steve's infectious manner and enthusiasm come through with flying colors. Some of the songs may not be as technically excellent as the studio versions, but Steve was at his best with a live audience, and the Earl was his home base. For the Steve Goodman afficianado who, like me has pretty much everything Steve ever did, this cd is a welcome addition to the collection..............Chuck Klein
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Format: Audio CD
Well, how can there be NO REVIEWS for a live Steve Goodman album. It's a disgrace! Even though I never heard this record (I'm ordering it AFTER I write this), I've seen Mr. G perform several times, and, above all, he was a joy as a person and a performer. My fondest memory of him was at the old, wonderful Mariposa Folk Festival outside Toronto. Steve would go around the island looking for cool folks playing guitar under a tree somewhere, and he'd sit down with them, play some stuff together, and then invite them up on the stage with him. He was a man of the people, he loved life, he could make you laugh and cry with a song. So here's to ya, good man.
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