Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nine Lives: Big City Cat

Steve Forbert: Big City Cat


I’m sure there will be a stronger feline presence here as the week goes on. The “cat” in Big City Cat is thoroughly human, and the word only comes up at the end of the lyrics. But Big City Cat is a song about beginnings, so it seemed like a good place to start. Steve Forbert arrived in New York City from Meridian, Misissippi, intent on making a living as a musician. His material was well suited to the New York City music market of the late 70s, and he did eventually break through and get a major label contract. But Big City Cat describes his feelings on stepping onto the surface of a new planet at the start of this journey. New York City was a new world to Forbert, and not entirely a good one. But Forbert was able to maintain a sunny outlook that wound up being so appealing on his first album. Ironically, it wound up being his treatment at the hands of that major label that finally washed that optimism away. But that is a tale for another time.

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