Song: Goin’ Down To Laurel
Artist: Steve Forbert
In the late 70s I first heard Steve Forbert’s material on Toronto’s CFNY (back when it was a truly great alternative station - you could hear the most radical and clever mixes and there was no computerized, corporate playlist). At the time the fresh-faced young troubadour was being hailed in some quarters as a new Dylan. That certainly never happened, Dylan being singular and irreplaceable - but Forbert went on to eke out his own career as a singer/songwriter in the grand American folkloric tradition, mostly via personal songs about being in love or being out of love - a well that will never run dry.
From Forbert’s first album, 1978’s Alive On Arrival, comes this poignant, plucky little number which is equal parts hopeful and hardscrabble wretched. There’s a pure, undiluted spirit here. Forbert’s voice - slight, scratchy but utterly human - gets me every time. Watch below for a live version of Goin’ Down To Laurel from 2007.
Posted by Max MacDonald