Steve Forbert

8 p.m. Friday, March 30. The Focal Point (2720 Sutton Avenue, Maplewood).

Steve Forbert wasn't the new Bob Dylan; he wasn't even the new Donovan. He was (and is) a songwriter and singer who gets something personal and sui generis about the blues from his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi — in a way that's not far from another Meridian musician, Jimmie Rodgers. Like the Singing Brakeman, Forbert has his ears tuned to jazz as much as country, to humor, to pathos and to the simplest and sharpest melodic hooks. While possibly considered a one-hit wonder just for "Romeo's Tune," in a perfect world he'd be known as one of the most consistently rewarding songwriters of the post-Dylan set. He's smart without being a smartass, a romantic who knows realism is his best come-on.

 
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