October 20, 1980 12:00 PM

Steve Forbert

While Dylan is at play in the fields of the Lord, Mississippian-turned-Greenwich Villager Steve Forbert is blossoming as a major troubadour, unrestricted by genre and fleeting fashion. In the tradition of Woody Guthrie, he spins out musical Americana that is unpretentious, rich in detail and bursting with inventiveness. This, his third LP, is a 13-course feast that includes good-time rockers (Schoolgirl), spry instrumentals (Lucky), quirky novelties (I’m an Automobile) and affectionate ballads (Song for Carmelita). The pièce de résistance is One More Glass of Beer, the epic of an intergalactic voyager which begins with a whisper and builds to a dramatic orchestral finale. Most of the tunes are more terrestrial in subject, but there is an alluring, shrouded undercurrent of the mystical throughout. The arrangements and production by Pete Solley are helpfully clean and compelling. Most impressive, though, is Forbert’s original phrasing—which lets him pirouette, bob and weave through his lyrics—and his rhymes, like “wine/valentine/blow my mind,” that may make listeners want to Ogden Nash their teeth.

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