(2004) My Old Man: A Tribute To Steve Goodman

Various Artists

... read moreWhen Steve Goodman died of leukemia at age 36 in 1984, he left a wife and three small daughters. One of those daughters, Rosanna Goodman, has now served as executive producer and one of the performers on this tribute to her father 22 years later. She has taken anything but a reverent attitude toward...

45′:48″ 12 Songs

1
Various Artists
Old Fashioned
2:44
2
Various Artists
Danger
3:56
3
Various Artists
If She Were You
2:17
4
Various Artists
Yellow Coat
4:43
5
Various Artists
City Of New Orleans
4:37
6
Various Artists
The Ballad Of Penny Evans
3:33
7
Various Artists
Jessie's Jig
2:58
8
Various Artists
A Lover Is Forever
3:09
9
Various Artists
My Old Man
3:46
10
Various Artists
Just Lucky I Guess
3:57
11
Various Artists
I Just Keep Falling In Love
4:01
12
Various Artists
Watching Joey Glow
6:07
Released 12 October 2004, 2006 BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Review

When Steve Goodman died of leukemia at age 36 in 1984, he left a wife and three small daughters. One of those daughters, Rosanna Goodman, has now served as executive producer and one of the performers on this tribute to her father 22 years later. She has taken anything but a reverent attitude toward interpreting Goodman's songs, and they are all the better for that. The obscure country, folk, and rock performers who cover Goodman do so through the prism of the music that has gained critical cachet in the singer/songwriter realm over the last two decades. Chris Brown, who is all over the album as a producer, arranger, and side musician, steps up to the microphone for "Yellow Coat" and treats it like he's performing R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion"; Anna Hovhannessian sounds like she's channeling Lucinda Williams on "A Lover Is Forever"; and Tony Scherr, accompanying himself only on acoustic bass, makes like Tom Waits on "Just Lucky I Guess." This may all sound to a Goodman fan as if violence is being done to his music, and that's true to some extent, but Goodman's prowess as a craftsman-like songwriter comes across more forcefully when someone tries something different with his work. Matt Keating and Emily Spray, for example, bring out the outlaw aspect of "Danger" (which is, after all, about the relationship between a 19-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl), and by singing "Old Fashioned" and "If She Were You" without changing any pronouns, Ana Egge and Crescent & Frost, respectively, liberate these songs from strictly heterosexual interpretation. Rosanna Goodman herself plays it straight with "My Old Man," resisting the urge to update the lyrics, which are about her grandfather. The one thing that's largely missing on this imaginative collection is Steve Goodman's wicked sense of humor. Even though the set closes with the satiric "Watching Joey Glow," Teddy Kumpel's heavy metal rearrangement robs it of its laughs. ~ William Ruhlmann