Patrick Dyer Wolf, Avi Vinocur, Bobby Kendall, Alex Nash, and Jonathan Kirchner, Andrew Laubacher, Tim Marcus, Kelly McFarling and others.
Folk / Appalachian / Garage coming straight outta San Francisco and North Carolina. Signed to FLA. Releases to date include ‘A Long Life Of Living’ (2012) and 'Uncle John Farquhar'.
It’s a mark of how invested we are in exciting new music that we occasionally come across side-projects, offshoots or (to whisper a much-denigrated term) supergroups. All such labels can often seem to dismiss the individual merits of an act, however. So while we can reveal that Goodnight, Texas are the transcontinental garage appalachian collaboration of San Francisco’s Avi Vinocur (formerly of The Stone Foxes) and North Carolina’s Patrick Dyer Wolf (two of our favorites), let’s detach ourselves from that history and take a look at the band within their own right.
“I met Avi at Bazaar Cafe in San Francisco in 2007,” explains Patrick, “when Avi was playing a gig. We spent subsequent quality time hosting the brainwash cafe open mic and gradually learned each other's songs. In 2011 we metamorphisized into Goodnight, Texas. We met Jonathan Kirchner and Andrew Laubacher through mutual friends, including our good friend The Scene.”
Describing their sound as “steel and wood, covered in dust”, the combination of two distinct songwriting styles is seen as a major factor. “Avi brings a lot of experience in the whole process, from being a part of the Stone Foxes as well as other bands before that, along with years of experience with recording,” Patrick reflects. “Working with Jon and Andrew is a total pleasure - those guys are hilarious and great musicians, and they work together so much in other bands that they can do a Vulcan mind meld. We're psyched also to begin working with Bobby Kendall, our new prodigious bassist from Troy NY, and Alex Nash, a great SF drummer who also plays with our good buddies The Blind Willies.”
Diverse sounds are all well and good, but – as any band will tell you – shared influences are a necessity. It’s no different with Goodnight, Texas. “We share admiration for Bob Dylan, Simon And Garfunkel, Ryan Adams, The Black Keys, and a Charleston SC band called Shovels And Rope, to name a few,” Patrick reveals. “A lot of the inspiration for this project has come from sounds and ideas rooted in 19th century America - African American songs and chants by way of Blues singers and recordings by Alan Lomax; Appalachian and mountain sounds, the mandolin and banjo; the simple but ultra nuanced and sophisticated work of some modern artists like Tim Eriksen, The Tallest Man on Earth, Gillian Welch, Old man Leudecke.”
Not to say that such concentration on traditional heritage means the band aren’t forward-looking. “The concentration on our bluesier, acoustic, darker, old-timey elements was somewhat evolution,” Patrick says, musing on the development of Goodnight, Texas, “but mostly concentration and nourishment. It was survival of the fittest facets of our original folk duo.”
And let’s not pretend that such reverence for their elders means that they’re a bunch of stick-in-the-muds either. They’re as happy to party as the next band. “Our show at Hemlock in SF this may have been among our dirtiest/proudest moments,” Patrick remembers. “It looked like a storage room or unfurnished whore house in there. It was at the end of our spring tour and we played with a kind of sweaty reckless abandon that cannot be bought with US currency.” Whatever currency these guys accept – now would be a good time to start saving up, as you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future …