Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#944 in the Series) is Tribute To Steve Goodman.
30years. It’s hard for me to believe that Steve Goodman has been gone for almost 30 years. It’s seems like yesterday that I was seeing him at Harry Hopes or Braden Auditorium in Bloomington, Illinois.
Steve passed away in September of 1984. Shortly after his passing, many of his friends gathered at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago. They told stories, played some of his music and some of theirs as well. I was lucky enough to be there. For those who weren’t, we’re treated to this recording.
One of Steve’s closest friends was John Prine. We get lots of John here! He opens the album with a song that he and Steve played together many times, “Souvenirs.” John also gives us a heartwarming version of Steve’s ode to his father, “My OId Man.” He also plays off of Steve’s sense of humor by ending the show with his own, “Please Don’t Bury Me.”
Steve spent the last years playing as a duo with the great Jethro Burns of Homer and Jethro fame. The mandolin master, along with his song John treated us to a fantastic version of “The Lady is a Tramp.”
The night of course also featured Arlo Guthrie. Arlo told the story of how Steve first approached him with “City Of New Orleans.” Arlo wasn’t all that interested in hearing it at first. So he explained to Steve that if Steve bought him a beer, he’d listen to whatever he had for as long as the beer lasted.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band played two numbers, their own “High Horse” and also Steve’s “Face on the Cutting Room Floor.”
Bonnie Raitt and John Prine sounded great on “Angel From Montgomery” as did David Bromberg on “I Will Not Be Your Fool.”
To me, the highlight of the night just might have been Michael Smith’s appearance. Michael wrote one of Steve’s first and biggest hits, “The Dutchman.” His performance of that song on this night was quite moving. The memory of hearing the emotion in his voice will always stay with me.
I do not believe there was any video recording of this night. I do have a playlist below. Nothing in it was from that very show, but at least you can hear the music. Plus I had to have at least one with Stevie included! Enjoy.
I had a chance to meet Steve twice. The first time was in 1980. I was on the road with Heartsfield and I had a broken foot. I was wearing a cast up to just below my knee. On that evening we were opening for Steve and Jethro. Steve signed my cast. I thought I was pretty cool! I remember that he signed it Steve Goodman and he made a smiley face with the two “o’s. We had a chance to speak for about five minutes after sound check.
The next time I saw him was about 1982 at Harry Hopes in Cary, Illinois, a small but really cool club. Before the show, Steve was walking through the crowd and happened to see me. He stopped what he was doing and walked over and asked me how my foot was doing. I was floored that he not only remembered me, but also my injury.
I’ve heard many many times that Steve was a great guy. The stories are correct.
I miss Steve Goodman.
- Souvenirs (3:51) John Prine
- Blues That Steve Taught Me (2:56) Ed Holstein
- Face on the Cutting Room Floor (3:16) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Gentle on My Mind (4:03) John Hartford
- I Will Not Be Your Fool (7:25) David Bromberg
- The Lady Is a Tramp (5:17) Jethro Burns
- I Can’t Sleep (4:12) Bonnie Koloc
- California Promises (3:40) Jim Rothermel, Lincoln Park Pirates
- All over the World (2:44) Arlo Guthrie
- City of New Orleans (5:24) Arlo Guthrie
- The Thanksgiving Song (2:52) Fred Holstein
- Satisfied Mind (4:30) Bryan Bowers
- Angel from Montgomery (4:38) Bonnie Raitt, Bonnie Raitt & John Prine, John Prine
- My Old Man (5:47) John Prine
- I Don’t Wanna Know (4:03) Richie Havens
- The Water Is Wide (4:18) David Amram
- Cockroaches on Parade (2:28) Harry Waller
- The Dutchman (5:17) Michael Smith
- Please Don’t Bury Me (3:01) John Prine
- David Amram Arranger, Flute, Performer, Whistle (Instrument)
- Bryan Bowers Autoharp, Performer, Vocals
- David Bromberg Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Performer, Vocals
- Nancy Bromberg Vocals (Background)
- Al Bunetta Executive Producer, Producer
- Peter Bunetta Percussion
- Steve Burgh Guitar (Electric)
- Jethro Burns Mandolin, Performer
- John Burns Guitar (Electric), Vocal Harmony, Vocals
- Bob Carpenter Bass, Vocal Harmony, Vocals
- Dan Einstein Executive Producer, Producer
- Jimmie Fadden Drums
- Ellen Germaine Vocals (Background)
- Arlo Guthrie Performer, Piano, Vocals
- Jeff Hanna Composer, Guitar (Electric), Vocals
- John Hartford Banjo, Clogs, Performer, Vocals
- Richie Havens Performer, Vocals
- Bonnie Herman Vocals (Background)
- Bob Hoban Fiddle, Piano (Electric)
- Diane Holmes Vocals (Background)
- Ed Holstein Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Performer, Vocals
- Fred Holstein Guitar (Acoustic), Performer, Vocals
- Jimmy Ibbotson Composer, Mandolin, Vocal Harmony, Vocals
- Bonnie Koloc Performer, Vocals
- Howard Levy Harmonica, Piano, Recorder
- Hugh McDonald Bass
- John McEuen Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic)
- John Perrot Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic)
- John Prine Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Performer, Vocals
- Tom Radtke Drums
- Bonnie Raitt Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Performer, Vocals
- Jim Rothermel Performer, Recorder, Sax (Soprano), Saxophone
- Johnny Lee Schell Bass, Vocal Harmony, Vocals
- Neal Serroka Bass
- Michael Smith Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals
- Don Stiernberg Mandolin
- Angie Varias Drums
- Harry Waller Guitar (Acoustic), Performer, Vocals