Steve Forbert will receive a Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Music on February 6, 2020. An American singer-songwriter, his award-winning, notable career in folk rock spans nearly four decades.
The Meridian native officially began his career when he moved to New York City as a determined 21 year-old. From performing on street corners to working his way up to high-profile gigs at Greenwich Village clubs, Forbert earned a major record label deal with Nemperor-CBS Records two years after his move.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Forbert released a total of four critically acclaimed albums. After his first release, Alive on Arrival, in 1978, Steve Forbert was dubbed “The New Dylan.” One track from that album, “Grand Central Station, March 18, 1977,” earned him a spot on the 2014 Village Voice list of The 60 Best Songs Ever Written About New York City, along with the company of many musical heavyweights like Jim Croce, Tom Waits, and Frank Sinatra.
The next year in 1979, Forbert released Jackrabbit Slim with the #11 charting hit “Romeo’s Tune,” before moving to Nashville, where he continued to record and tour.
“It’s often said that life is strange, but compared to what? People don’t take life seriously enough. If they did, they wouldn’t take it so seriously.” – Steve Forbert
His Any Old Time, a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, received a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 2006, Forbert was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.
Forbert was recognized for his influence on generations of musicians when twenty-one artists came together in 2017 to pay tribute to his musical legacy and record An American Troubadour: The Songs of Steve Forbert. His 2018 memoir, Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock, documents 60 years of music and focuses on his adventures in New York City during the punk rock and new wave explosion.
As he continues his musical career into the next decade, Forbert’s 20th studio album is set to be released in 2020. He continues to tour internationally, representing his home state of Mississippi along the way by sharing his roots with fans across the globe.
Join us for the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards to celebrate Steve Forbert’s extraordinary career.
Listen to a recent Mississippi Arts Hour interview with Steve Forbert.