I've written a lot here about Steve Goodman, whose work I love. But wonderful as his songs and recordings are, they still don't give a great sense of how tremendous he was in concert with an audience. I've told the story about being at the concert where he won over the 3,000 maniacal fans of Steve Martin at the Universal Amphitheatre. He just was a joy -- a cherubic, short, enthusiastic bundle of energy and personality.
What I love about this recording is that comes as close to giving a sense of Steve Goodman in concert as any, even though it's just audio. It's recorded living during a concert -- I believe from when he appeared on Austin City Limits, though it was cut from the TV broadcast (though I can't swear it's from that). What happens is that someone in the audience calls out for him to sing, of all things, "Winter Wonderland," a song that has never been part of the Steve Goodman repertoire. But being game for pleasing the audience, he dives in...even though he doesn't know how it goes.
And what he ends up with is not just one of my favorite Steve Goodman recordings, but perhaps my favorite rendition of "Winter Wonderland."