Playbill

Steve Forbert Still Looking for Inspiration -- and Finding It

After almost 40 years in the music business, Steve Forbert could be forgiven for taking it easy or resting on his laurels, but the singer-songwriter who comes to McGonigel's Mucky Duck Saturday night for two shows still has the fire in his belly. A brief two-stop Texas weekend tour is an interruption of what he describes as the grueling process of mixing a new record he hopes to release this fall.

"Playing the shows is where the real joy lies in all this," he explains from a studio in New Jersey. "Just take my guitar and get up there, no obsessive worrying about little things like is there enough bottom end in that. That's what gets my juices going -- the live playing is still the big fun.

"The other part of it this far along in my career is that people who come out to hear me want to be there," laughs Forbert. "So I'm playing to a pretty select group, not a bunch of people who've never heard me. They come for a specific reason, and that's great by me. Realizing that, I still find myself surprised that I'm not more relaxed than I am when I'm onstage."

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William Michael Smith