About Goodnight, Texas
Conventional wisdom says the two frontmen of a band shouldn’t live on opposite sides of the United States, but that’s never seemed to deter Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf.Goodnight, Texas is a tough-to-define storytelling folk rock band whose strength lies in unexpected sweet spots. Drawing their name from Pat and Avi’s onetime geographic midpoint (the real town of Goodnight in theState of Texas, a tiny hamlet east of Amarillo directly betwixt San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC), the five-piece band also exists at the center of its songwriters’ contrasting styles—via a 1913 Gibson A mandolin and a 2015 Danelectro Baritone Guitar, at the crossroads of folk and blues and rock ‘n’ roll, in a place where dry wit and dark truths meet hope and utmost sincerity.The very top of 2022 brings the band’s highly anticipated fourth album ‘How Long Will It Take Them To Die’, a dark yet lighthearted shoebox of knick-knacks and newspaper clippings-perhaps reflecting on either the last two years of isolation, or the whole of American history. In true Goodnight, Texas fashion, complex but relatable characters and locations are still featured alongside stories of self-discovery, rowdy behavior and heartbreaking loss, but with a more honed sound. Thanks in part to the creative and performative talents of the permanent lineup Scott Padden (drums, upright bass), Adam Nash (lead guitar, pedal steel, violin) and Chris Sugiura (bass), we hearGoodnight, Texas in a more detailed and developed way. Where past Goodnight,Texas albums have traveled cross-country and throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, this new offering falls on a z-axis somewhere between the aurora borealis and six feet underground. Of the album’s first single ‘Hypothermic’, singer and co-songwriter Avi Vinocur says:“Stories from different corners of the American past can often be dark and heavy. Our band’s music has always followed along, telling tales of fiction. and non-fiction with sonic landscapes to match. Many of our past songs and albums had taken place in the American South, Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest-but I had written a story in my notebook of a character braving the frigid tundra of Canada by car, north toward the distant U.S.state of Alaska-through hallucinations, paranoia, and exhaustion-to escape something unknown. It matched the sinister sound of this strange heel-thumper I had been working with on guitar-and together they were a perfect pair.“Hypothermic” is the result-our attempt to tell stories of America’s furthest corner, under a darker headlight, and attempting to sonically capture the heaviness of not only America’s past, but its present.”In March 2020, as the world confronted a new indoor reality, two long minutes of the GN,TX mainstay “TheRailroad” found themselves in the intro sequence of the first episode of Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which shattered streaming records with 34 million views in 10 days.Also in March of 2020, the band released its first live album: “Live in Seattle, Just Before The Global Pandemic.” Jonathan Kirchner recorded, mixed and mastered a weekend of October performances at TractorTavern that featured a newly expanded five-man lineup. GN, TX rookie Chris Sugiura brings precision and flair to the bass (and strong hair); grizzled veteran and former GN, TX bassist Adam Nash slides over to lead guitar and pedal steel where he can truly dazzle; extra grizzled veteran and former GN, TX bassist Scott Griffin Padden holds steady behind the kit, beating the hell out of the available objects with aplomb. In a strange and often dark time, here is a totem of life, and a great example of the raucousness and dynamics of the band’s live performance. In 2021, Goodnight, Texas were invited by Metallica to contribute to The Metallica Blacklist, a collection of reinterpretations of their legendary 1991 album Metallica (the Black Album). Goodnight, Texas was the only band to cover “Of Wolf and Man” gaining praise from press and even Metallica themselves-they used the song over the PA following their live performances in late 2021
About Jackson Stokes
For guitarist and singer-songwriter Jackson Stokes, great musicians make great neighbors. Even as a youth weaned on classic rock- his first concert was Lynyrd Skynyrd- Stokes was unaware that living across the street from his St. Louis home was guitarist and singer-songwriter Devon Allman. Allman’s family tree is impressive as the son of Gregg Allman and nephew of Duane Allman of Allman Brothers Band fame. Yet, Stokes knew little of the legendary group. Encouraged by his father, and holding his guitar, the 11-year-old Stokes knocked on Allman’s door.
Allman, two decades his elder, heard something special in the young Stokes and encouraged him to continue learning and growing as a musician. Stokes dutifully attended Allman’s Honeytribe rehearsals, sitting quietly in the corner while the group worked up its repertoire. At 14, Stokes had developed into a prodigious firebrand with a passion for the blues, teaming with another area wunderkind, Marquise Knox, and performing his first professional gigs.
By 18, his experience playing in high school garage bands, and with an All-State school jazz band, expanded his rock-and-roll palette. He attended Drury University in Springfield, earning a degree in music therapy, while maintaining a friendship with Allman, who encouraged Stokes to further sharpen his songwriting skill. In Memphis in 2012, Allman produced a five-song EP, Witness, from the Stokes-led band, Delta Sol Revival.
DSR toured regionally until 2016 when Stokes and Allman began discussing recording his solo debut. The pair returned to Memphis for the initial sessions, as Allman invited Stokes to join the Devon Allman Band for 2017, and subsequently the Devon Allman Project for a world tour in 2018. On days-off from the road, Stokes continued work on his album, organically building the full-length.
In May of 2019, Stokes put the finishing touches on a striking inaugural effort. Produced by Allman, it is a lean and focused set of rock-and-soul, including an ambitious Talking Heads cover, and a depth of original material ranging in style and subjects. From the Memphis stroll of the opening “Can’t Getcha Out,” through the reflective acoustic closer, “Take Me Home,” the debut encompasses Stokes’ wide swath of influences and tastes. There’s the ‘60s R&B update that morphs into modern rock on “Slave,” the staggering punches of overdriven guitar on “Time is Now,” and the midnight seduction of “Contents Under Pressure.” A flourish of pleading guitars finishes the slowly climbing blues-rock centerpiece, “You and Your Partner,” while David Byrne meets Southern funky on “Life in Wartime.” As well, Stokes welcomes the sunny-days slide guitar of The Allman Betts Band’s Johnny Stachela to brighten the Southern sway of “Sins Are Forgiven,” complementing that with the chunky Saturday night blues of “Whiskey.”
Naturally, the nine-song record offers plenty of the fiery guitar that has been the calling card of Stokes’ career for this first decade, showcasing the stellar reputation he’s earned sharing the stage with such icons as Robert Cray, The Wailers, and Robert Randolph, as well as Warren Haynes, Lukas Nelson, and Marcus King. Yet, it’s a conspicuous emphasis on Stokes’ escalating songcraft that also shines as brightly on this initial release.