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Picks and Pans Review: Artistic Hair

updated 05/16/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/16/1983 01:00AM

Steve Goodman

The Chicago-born Goodman writes funny, tender and affecting tunes for people who still think Blondie is a comic strip and Men at Work is a street sign for road construction. Now 34, and a singer in the tradition of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, he is best known as the composer of the rousing tune City of New Orleans, made famous by Arlo Guthrie in 1972 and recorded since by Judy Collins and scads of others. Goodman has never been a very successful commercial recording performer and has made the bulk of his living over the years from live performances. This LP contains a batch of songs recorded live over the past decade, with such gems as his fractured version of Winter Wonderland, a berserk instrumental with Jethro Burns (of Homer and...) called Tico Tico, a plucky performance of When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along, a hilarious song for Elvis Imitators and a tune that diddles victuals called Chicken Cordon Bleus. Also included is the wonderful composition he wrote with fellow Second Citizen John Prine, You Never Even Call Me By My Name, which incorporates practically every country cliché anyone can imagine. The LP title is more than a little ironic: Goodman temporarily lost most of his hair while undergoing treatment for leukemia last year. He's had a few other problems, too. Having been dumped by the Elektra label after the sales of his albums proved disappointing, he had to resort to forming his own record label for this project. This delectable LP is available for a modest $7 at Red Pajamas Records, P.O. Box 233, Seal Beach, Calif. 90740.

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