Holiday Childress
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Holiday Childress


Band Rock Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jesters Among the Drab"

Jesters Among The Drab

One of the primary functions of music, and perhaps the most universally important, is to entertain. Entertainment is what a newborn gets from music, and it is also probably the main concern of the vast majority of music listeners. Entertainment means creating fun and enjoyment, and I know of no local group that does this quite so well as The Goodies which are based out of Asheville and Atlanta. Fronted by the incomparable Holiday Childress, the group is a power trio that represents the best combination of instrumental proficiency and intelligent, yet accessible, songwriting. There are few groups that can showcase virtuosity on their instruments, and yet do so in a tightly organized, rock-song structure. Too often the virtuosic stray into the territories of flippant self-indulgence, completely leaving behind that one key function of music: fun.
I first chanced upon The Goodies at the 2007 Bele Chere festival in Asheville, N.C. They were the last group to play before young blues guitar giant Kenny Wayne Sheppard (whom I did not stay to see), and I had not the slightest idea what I was in for. When the band took the stage, I immediately noticed the corresponding décor of the bassist and guitarist: matching black t-shirts and plaid pants. The guitarist was also donning a gentlemanly black hat and one righteous handlebar ’stache. The guitarist/lead vocalist’s microphone looked like something that Frank Sinatra might have sung into in the 1940s, and I was immediately catching on to one of The Goodies’ primary characteristics.
They are like some blend of the old and the new, but not in the boring way of creating a nostalgic, heard-that-before kind of sound. Guitarist Holiday Childress looked like a nobleman from the late 1800s, and yet had an electric guitar that he began harvesting totally idiosyncratic sounds out of. The group vigorously tore through song after song, telling lurid tales of an Italian butcher who murdered his wife, an exotic dancer from 1930s era France, questionable motives in a dirty ice cream shoppe, and the desire to be made out of plastic. The songs featured everything from Italian-accented arias to cartoon character voice verses and brilliantly humorous and beautiful falsetto. It is this mesh of the dark and the light which is another defining characteristic of the band.
While many bands try to sell themselves as something new and different because they combine different genres of music, The Goodies actually dismiss the idea of genre. They’re one of those bands that you can hear less than 10 seconds of and know that no other band could possibly be producing those sounds. In large part this is due to lead singer Holiday Childress’s unique falsetto. I like to call what they do circus-rock, as the feelings of zaniness, mystery, wonder, and spectacle that accompany a circus are also apparent within their music. Also, a couple of their songs make great use of that famous 3/4 time signature vibe that many associate with the circus or a carnival. There are traces of funk, ska, heavy metal, bluegrass, disco, rock, and psychedelia throughout The Goodies’ songs, yet none of these styles dominate their sound, and most are only vaguely reminiscent of their root genres. The Goodies also excel at creating ballads like “Gravity” and “Free Coffee,” which are completely unclassifiable other than that they are generally soft and harmonious.
I have become a fan of many local musicians and bands, though never a hard-core fan that listens to any certain local act to a great extent. That was true until I discovered this band. They have addicted me to their music and shows as much as Primus leader Les Claypool has to his music. They represent a level of innovation and fun that is not approached by any other group in this collection. If popularity and recognition were determined by talent and originality, The Goodies would be up there with the greats. In many ways though, they are like Primus, in that they are a very acquired taste with a cult-following that seems to hang on their every word. Add to all this the fact that the band members are very approachable and generous with their audience, and you have true musical idols.
Ultimately, the goodies are Patrick Kelley, a fluid, rumbling monster of a bass player and backing vocalist; Michael Allen, a super-tight drummer who plays all over his kit, often adding fills and accents that help tell the story of the song; and Holiday Childress, a top-notch vocalist, guitarist, and front man whose charisma would be the envy of any Jagger, Plant, or Daltry.
Included below is a concert review from one of the group’s shows in Asheville, and an interview which also took place in Asheville. I had initially planned on interviewing just Holiday, but the whole band was in town and I ended up interviewing all three of them simultaneously. I’ve been told that interviewing more than one person at a time creates various - Zack Harding


Holiday released 3 discs with his band The Goodies
The Greatest Hits 1997
The Postcard EP 2001
The Goodies "live" 2004
Holiday is currently writing for his first solo debut.



Holiday Childress has been performing and leading his own band for over 15 years.
Holiday created "The Goodies" ( in 1993 and has years of performing experience.
His music has been described as Prince meets T Rex meets Queen meets Tom Waits. What sets Holiday apart from other artists is his unique way of connecting with an audience and his signature handlebar mustache. Holiday's main influences are Tim Burton, Johnny Depp , Jens Lekman, Tom Waits and Danny Elfman.