From his home base at Neid's Hotel in Lawrenceville, Slim Forsythe may be just a stone's throw from the throngs of sweet young digital things at, say, a New Amsterdam dance night, but his is a different world -- one you're cordially invited to dip a toe into any ole time. Whether he's working the stage with an old-school aw-shucks swagger or recording his original ditties, Forsythe's classic-country sounds are a window into an alternate reality; with Bury Me Up On That Northern Tier, his new full-length, Forsythe has mined his own history to forge a unique Northern honky-tonk mythos.
While there's plenty of country's classic preoccupations ("False Hope Chaser" needs little explanation), Forsythe's main topics are wholesome yet humorous fare: family and regional roots. The album starts with a spoken tribute to his upbringing; there's a song about his son ("Happy Birthday, Sam"); and praise for all things Pittsburgh ("Slim Forsythe's Swingin' Monongahela Blues"). Also up for a several shout-outs is the Man Upstairs. But lest that earnestness dissuade you, it's always dished up with Forsythe's effortless delivery and wry humor. Backed by the Parklane Drifters -- fiddler Scratchy Hutter, bassist Candy Mountain and multi-instrumentalist Big Rock -- the understated style of the recording is just about perfect for the material.
The CD-release show is Thu., June 18, with guests The Snyder Sisters at the Thunderbird Café, in Lawrenceville. If you miss the show -- and we recommend you don't -- the album is available exclusively at Neid's, so grab yourself a "famous fish sandwich" and a copy of Northern Tier, and step into Slim's world for a spell.
Local punk musicians are presenting the latest in a series of musical fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation next week, Fri., June 26, at the 31st Street Pub. The first of these events, in 2007, was organized by punk-rock DJ John Doran, whose 5-year-old son John Henry was diagnosed with the disease at two weeks old. Doran and wife Lisa have been active with CFF ever since, including this fundraiser.
The show includes a set by acclaimed local punks Kim Phuc, Jesus Lizard tribute band Basilisk, and "an educational intro to punk rock" from The Sharts, fronted by Doran. DJs Mike Bolam and Ryan Hughes will spin their favorite punk sides between bands. For more info, call 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com.