A brief in-concert salute last year to late songwriting great Gerry Goffin by daughter Louise Goffin led to an even bigger tribute to him: a new EP celebrating her father’s spirit and legacy.
Mere days after Gerry Goffin’s death on June 19, 2014, Louise performed his song “It’s Not the Spotlight” at a house concert in Austin, Texas, having only learned how to play it the previous day.
“I introduced the song as one my father wrote and had sung a lead vocal on — which was rare for him — and one that I’d always loved,” she says. “I always enjoyed both the lyric and his vocal phrasing on that song.”
When Rod Stewart recorded “It’s Not the Spotlight” for his 1975 album, Atlantic Crossing, some lines were changed, Louise points out. For her version, she reinstated the original lyrics to the song, which her father co-wrote with Barry Goldberg.
Afterward, Louise told Goldberg about her performance of the song, and he suggested they record it, planting the seeds for Appleonfire, which was released in February via Majority of One Records.
“I had never worked with Barry before,” Louise says. “He greatly influenced the project — in fact, there would not have been a project at all had it not been for Barry. It was his idea to go in and record the song, which inspired me to do other songs on the same day and to call in some old friends to engineer and play on the record.”
Four of the EP’s six tracks feature lyrics by her father; Jakob Dylan is featured on the rendition of “Take a Giant Step,” which Gerry Goffin co-wrote with Carole King, Louise’s mother.
“Higher Than Low” and “Everything You Need” were products of Louise’s songwriting collaborations last year at the annual Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
“I played both of these songs for Barry,” Louise recalls, “and at that point I was too close to having written them to know if they were anything. But he was 100 percent on them and said both songs were keepers.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Louise Goffin on tour (schedule subject to change):
• April 10: Trinity House Theater — Ann Arbor, Mich.
• April 11: Black Crystal Café — Ann Arbor, Mich.
• April 13-15: School of Rock — Chicago
• April 15: Athenaeum Theatre — Chicago
• April 17: Union County Performing Arts Center — Rahway, N.J.
• April 18: Amazing Things Arts Center — Framingham, Mass.
• April 19: Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — Saybrook, Conn.
• April 26: McCabe’s Guitar Shop — Santa Monica, Calif.
Photo by Amanda Bjorn