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Steve Forbert and The Sound Benders in Concert

Steve Forbert.
Steve Forbert.

Like many rough-voiced singer-songwriters, Steve Forbert has done time as a potential "next Bob Dylan," but he's carved out his own distinct niche in an uncompromising career that spans nearly 30 years. Hear Forbert perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on June 1.

After giving up a career as a truck driver and moving from Mississippi to Manhattan, Forbert worked as a busker when he wasn't opening for the likes of Talking Heads and John Cale. Forbert's introspective roots-rock made him an odd fit in the New York punk scene, but he fit nonetheless, and his late-'70s albums Alive on Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim ranked among his most successful.

Since then, Forbert has found cult success with subsequent albums, settling into a career as a club-hopping road warrior. But he's also poised for a breakthrough: He just signed a label deal, a new album arrives in June ( Strange Names & New Sensations includes a new version of his signature song, "Romeo's Tune"), and he's got two songs in a high-profile Nicole Kidman film this fall. For this performance, Forbert will perform with The Sound Benders, a group of longtime backing musicians and new collaborators.

Copyright 2007 XPN