Here’s the unmistakeable sound of the great Steve Forbert, a favourite of Americana fans. ‘Fried Oysters’ begins with a warm, tuneful strum that finds a real foot-tapping rhythm. Over the guitar, Forbert’s distinctive voice, carrying just enough weary grit and vulnerability, narrates a melodic tale of everyday love and relationships. As ever, the fine details in his lyrics are really effective and draw the listener into a song that has an easy-going feel. It’s one of those Steve Forbert songs that sound immediately familiar, like an old favourite, full of charm and wit. In his autobiography, ‘Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock’, Forbert describes his approach to music and what it means to him: “The thing about songs is that they’re magical. They can contain so much power packed into three minutes. It’s such an interesting puzzle to put one together consciously or unconsciously. You’re working with such strong strains – weaving together lyrics, be they inane or be they profound. What’s the difference, really, as long as they fit well? You have the strength of the music, sometimes you have the strength of harmonies, and of course you have the strength of rhythm.” This perfectly summarises his songs more generally and this song particularly. Indeed, everything fits well, here. In the end, it’s just about the quality of the song-craft and how all those elements fit together to make a song, like this one, that elicits an emotional reaction, makes you smile and sing along.
Forbert explains the idea behind the song: “‘Fried Oysters’ depicts a guy waiting for his girlfriend to get ready to head out to a seafood restaurant in Houston. I know a good one that’s been there since the early ’60s. Of course, with me being a singer-songwriter type, my song has to veer toward something more serious. And so the prospect of another hurricane hitting Houston comes up in the last verse.”
The Thomas Parr-directed video was created at the Manasquan Inlet in New Jersey. The shots along the front and on the boat pier at Point Pleasant Beach provide a beautiful back drop as the sun sets and Forbert plays. It’s an enjoyable visual to accompany a delightful song. ‘Fried Oysters’ is taken from the brand new album ‘Moving Through America’; you can see our appreciative review here. Forbert’s loyal fans will love the new record and can catch him on tour in the UK, beginning today, 15th June, in Manchester. Check out the dates across the UK here and absorb the experience of Steve Forbert, one of the great troubadours, live. While you’re waiting for the show, enjoy this.
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