Personnel: Steve Goodman (vocals, guitar); Billy Sanford (guitar, banjo); Bucky Wilkin (guitar, background vovals); Stephen Bruton, Pete Wade (guitar); Ben Keith (steel guitar, dobro); Martha McCrory (cello); William Prudett (clarinet, trombone); George Tidwell (trumpet); Gene Mullins, Dennis Good (trombone); David Briggs (piano); David Fritts (organ); Norbert Putnam (bass); Kenneth Buttrey (percussion); Bill Swofford, John Prine (background vocals); Grady Martin, Vassar Clements, Charlie McCoy, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Milkwood Thomas a.k.a. Bob Dylan.
Producers: Kris Kristofferson, Norbert Putnam.
Reissue producer: Mike Ragogna.
Recorded at Quadrafonic Sound, Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by David McGee.
Digitally remastered by Elliot Federman (SAJE Sound, New York, New York).
Goodman's debut remains one of the strongest artifacts of the singer-songwriter movement of the early '70s, a wry and poignant mix of sharp personal songcraft imbued with country, jazz, folk, and early R&B influences. It's astonishingly eclectic given its overall stylistic parameters. The centerpiece is, of course, the original version of "City of New Orleans," which Goodman takes at a slightly faster clip than Arlo Guthrie's better known cover version.
Other high points include the ironic country weeper "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" (country outlaw David Allan Coe, after making some lyrical revisions, had a huge hit with this), and a breathtaking version of John Prine's "Donald and Lydia." Goodman countrifies Fiesta's 1950s R&B classic "So Fine," and offers comic relief with the hilarious shaggy dog story, "Turnpike Tom."