Steve Goodman Live Wire

Steve Goodman is one of those prolific, faceless jewels whose music has touched many, although he remains relatively unknown to a generation just a few years after losing his battle with leukaemia in 1984. His heroes were the Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and the Kingston Trio, and his songs became heroes to many of his contemporaries: Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Jimmy Buffet. His sparkling, elfin personality instantly won over anyone fortunate enough to stand close enough to his flame. Live Wire is a rare treat for many reasons: it is a full band recording (he often performed solo) taken from a radio recording in early 1980, energising his folk leanings into a country-rock mode. This allows him to lie back, enjoy the music and have a blast - Goodman actually cracks himself up across this intimate 72-minute show. The laid-back approach also places his songs in a more honest, less sterile context than the studio settings, each woven together by Goodman's loveable, personable banter, giving each little masterpiece a warm glow. The classics roll off the stage to a wildly receptive audience: "City Of New Orleans," "Banana Republic," " The One That Got Away." From the rollicking shuffle of "Hand It To You" to the poignant "My Old Man," Steve Goodman made a big mark. As a singer-songwriter, comedian, entertainer and hero. Gone, but impossible to forget. (Red Pyjamas)