Few Americana outfits have been as impressive as Austin, TX’s Goodnight, Texas. Their debut effort A Long Life of Living was a spellbinding tour-de-force into old-school roots-grass. Their sophomore follow-up Uncle John Farquhar continues the band’s momentum but never once reaches the apex of the debut. While the dreaded tag of sophomore slump might be too presumptive, the disc definitely has its feigned moments.
Formed in 2010, San Francisco’s Avi Vinocur and North Carolina’s Patrick Dyer Wolf decided on the geographical middle point of Goodnight, TX as the identity of their turn-of-the-century folky Americana collaboration. After a meeting in San Francisco, the duo paired dusty and defiled ballads with raw pain and beauty. Along with bassist Jonathan Kirchner and drummer Andrew Laubacher, Goodnight, Texas brings twelve songs to an impressive debut.“I’m Going To Work On Maggie’s Farm Forever” slowly eases you into A Long Life of Living with sharp acoustic guitars and twangy harmonies that are blended beautifully. “Submarines” is rustic and raw, bringing you right on the backwoods front porch, while the mandolin is the star of the show in “Jesse Got Trapped In A Coal Mine,” making the song a clear folk highlight of the album, and a lead single. “Old St. John” is the most memorable and tortured of songs: the tale of a man abandoning his children, and yet undecided if this is based on fact or fiction. Each song throughout the entire album, as distinct and genuine as they are, blends harmoniously into the next, each in agreement about where the previous one left off.
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