If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, I’ve managed to write a quite a bit about the rapidly rising Murray, KY-born and based singer/songwriter, S.G. Goodman. Born and raised near the Mississippi to a strict, church-going family of row crop farmers, Goodman went from singing and playing in church three times a week to becoming a prominent member of Murray’s DIY arts and music scene, as well as an impassioned voice and presence in the political and social movements she supports.
Initially slated for a May 29, 2020 release through Verve Forecast Records, Goodman’s im James-produced full-length debut Old Time Feeling has been rescheduled for a July 17, 2020 release as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recorded at Louisville, KY-based La La Land Studio. which was specifically chosen by Goodman because it possessed her three favorite things — “a creek, a big porch and a kitchen” — the sessions were imbued with a familial and communal touch: Goodman cooked meals for the studio crew and her backing band, which includes lifelong friends Matthew David Rowan (guitar) and S. Knox Montgomery (drums).
Reportedly, the album’s material is a brutally honest, complex and deeply loving look at rural Southern life that debunks rural stereotypes while drawing from her own experiences as a gay woman and artist in a rural and deeply religious Southern community. Interestingly, the album also touches up on living with OCD, estrangement, reconciliation and loving your family and community although you might disagree with them on political and social issues.
Earlier this year, (which seems like a lifetime ago), I caught Goodman play her first New York Metropolitan area show at Communion at Rockwood Music Hall, and the set found Goodman and her band crafting a sound that meshed elements of old-school country, folk, Delta Blues and rockabilly centered around Goodman’s aching Kentuckian twang. Now, as you may recall I’ve written about the album’s two previously released singles. The slow-burning, country blues-like “The Way I Talk,” a brutally honest look at the plight and concerns of the rural farming community she has spent her life in. Much like every aspect of our daily lives, big business and their interests have acted in concert with politicians to exploit and destroy the lives, well-being and environment of everything and everyone within their path. And as a result, the song seethes with anger and defiant pride. The album’s second single was the sparse and atmospheric “Red Bird Morning,” a haunting song song that evokes tear-streaked and lonely drives across unending blacktop, torturing yourself by replaying the messiness of your life from 126 different angles.
Old Time Feeling’s third and latest single, album title track “Old Time Feeling” is the album’s most rollicking and freewheeling track, as it draws from influences like rockabilly, early rock ‘n’ roll and Sun Records-era country. And while centered around an an anachronistic sound, the song seethes with the modern day frustration and desperation of the working (and barely getting by) poor. But it also subtly points out that we all live in a system that’s insane and sick — and has caused unnecessary hurt and poverty, just to keep a handful of people stay rich.
Directed by Brandon Boyd, the recently released video for “Old Time Feeling” continues Goodman’s ongoing visual collaboration with the director. Featuring intimate, behind-the-scene footage of Goodman, her band, Jim James and the rest of the studio crew during the Old Time Feeling sessions, the video is an intimate look into the creative process — while reminding us that traditional recording and creation will be at a standstill until we can get a handle on COVID-19.