“When you hear a song with an Irish air like Raglan Road and She Moves Through The Fair/
You long for the rare auld time over there and you wish you were at home” - A Rainbow's End
I am an immigrant, in Canada, from Dublin, Ireland, I miss the mythical rare auld times but trad-folk bands like the Goods make the here and now in Canada so much easier. I have to say it’s far from hard here, its just sometimes you wish you were at home.
Anyways sometime back I received an email; the Good Brothers were offering their new album Here And Now for free download. I jumped on it and it hasn’t left the rotation. Its now streaming on their soundcloud.
The Goods are Canada’s first family of bluegrass but on this recording they explore a lot more, demonstrating the tight bond they have on traditional folk, and their willingness to play around with the edges of the genre. Whether its finger-picking swing, the skipity stylings of the Clancys and the Furey Brothers, or the guitar rumblings of Gordon Lightfoot married with electrified Bob Seger, they carry it all in a tune so concise it could be pared down to a whistle.
I can’t say I am the most knowledgeable of the Goods’ catalogue although I have seen them several times in different settings, including the backroom of the Tartan Pub in Oshawa, however I will say this is among the best of records, touching on the touchstones of the genre sure, train beats and cheatin’ songs, maybe cheatin’ on train tracks but it is also a very personal timely record with songs about the longevity of love, about their here and now of their family, their relations, the world outside and how the outside moves inside.
"You’re gaining some weight, losing your hair, you walk through the house in tore-up underwear/ you’re drinking a lot, you’ll snore all the night through, and there’s other mystery noises you do, and you say you are concerned where our love is at/ Well, Honey why would you say that?" - Honey Why
If you want to learn how to wrap a story around a melody, or how to add to write about the heaviest subjects with the softest of touches or how to harmonize across generations, a great place to start is the Good Brothers’ Here And Now.