When we think of the Southern states of the USA, we probably all have our own perceptions, prejudices and misunderstandings. An artist who knows the place better than most, S.G. Goodman grew up, “on the banks of the Mississippi”, in an extremely rural area of Kentucky. As a gay woman, S.G.’s voice is one that’s almost entirely unique in music, in her own words, “an insider, who is also an outsider”. It was finding her place in the world that was one of the key influences on her upcoming album, Old Time Feeling, which was recorded with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, who waxes lyrical on S.G.’s talents, “I think she could play an important role in the healing we need to see happen right now”.
While Old Time Feeling is undeniably a record about life in the South, even more so, it is a record about self; musings on sexuality, mental health and finding a way to love people, even if you don’t agree with them. The route to S.G.’s sound began not with records and rock’n’roll, instead it was the Southern Baptist church, a place where she learnt, “singing with conviction”, and the joys of melodies that come from hymns. It’s those hymns that remain key influences, even if now combined with less spiritual influences like Link Wray and Karen Dalton. The resultant sound is an intriguing one, a blend of classic country and raw Southern rock, all delivered with a raw honesty, the recordings left deliberately unpolished to reflect the lyrical content within. Throughout Old Time Feeling, S.G. Goodman takes us on a journey, a record that walks through tenderness and hope, while never shying away from the hard truths of life, S.G. creates a musical world that’s entirely her own, yet will surely resonate with us all.
FTR: For those who don’t know, who is S.G. Goodman?
I was raised by a farming family, and I still reside in Kentucky. I like to write about my home and the people I’ve encountered here. It’s important for me to present my version of the south and to let folks see all the beauty I’ve been dealt.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
My first show was when I was eighteen in St. Louis. I was playing pop-music at the time and somehow found my way on a bill at a pizza place with a venue attached. It was my first time playing on a stage, and that’s when I learned the valuable lesson to never expect to hear yourself through monitors. Also, my Dad came to that show. He didn’t want me traveling to that large of a city by myself. So there he was with his cowboy boots and wranglers making sure none of the three people at the show abducted me.
FTR: Why do you make music? And why not another artform?
I don’t stick strictly to music. I also write short-stories and dabble in a little poetry, sometimes.
FTR: What can people expect from the S.G. Goodman live show?
You’ll be watching friends who have played music with each other for an entire decade. So with that will come our natural interactions with each other. They will yell if I talk too long, laugh if one of us messes up, just things of that nature. You’ll be watching a family.
FTR: What’s next for S.G. Goodman?
I’m hoping to get back on the road as soon as it’s safe.
They Listen To…
Santo & Johnny – Sleepwalk
Bill Fay – I Hear You Calling
Link Wray – La De Da
Chad VanGaalen – “No Panic/No Heat”
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Lady Fingers
Old Time Feeling is out July 17th. Click HERE for more information on S.G Goodman.