Some musicians are born to greatness while others have it thrust upon them . . . and the rest play folk music. That might be something of an exaggeration, but in the bright world of the music biz, folk music certainly has more than its share of dim lights.
Take Steve Goodman. The singer, who appeared last night at the Bayou, displayed a nimble wit and an infectious stage presence. His concert had all the spontaneity and charm of similar performances in college coffee-houses in the early '60s.
There was a problem, however.Steve Goodman apparently had nothing of interest to say and not an overabundance of ability to say it. His material ranged from a cute song about talking backwards to a tale about a young man's marital mixups. These and other selections were accompanied by a vocal range that disappeared on the higher notes and a guitar style that was comprised of mangled solos and listless chording. Steve Goodman certainly gave it his all, but it never seemed to be quite enough.
Nancy Parker, a young comedienne from New York, opened the evening with a farcical routine filled with screeching, trilling characters and soft social satire. Chattering away dizzily at a lightning pace and unleashing her jibes with a razor-sharp sense of timing, Nancy Parker lit up the stage.