Jonny B. Goodman

Jonny B. Goodman

BandRockAcoustic

Whether out of an earnest yearning for catalog diversity or a self-consciousness about being seen as trite, Jonny B. Goodman's brand of rock is rooted in a long list of genres. Whether pop, blues, indie-punk, 70s organ rock, reggae, or folk, the emphasis on lyrics and melody make his sound his own.

Biography

Around the turn of the millennium, Jonny B. Goodman began, for the first time as a young teenager, to accept a style of music besides jazz as a legitimate genre. The first non-jazz record to come into his collection was a greatest hits collection by Chicago. Not realizing that Peter Cetera was long dead and that Chicago hadn't written a viable single in fifteen years, Jonny began to see hope for popular music.

Jonny's interest in popular and underground genres expanded rapidly to include punk rock and ska at first, and later adult contemporary, indie rock, folk, swing, blues, and more. In the early part of the naught decade, Jonny teamed up with Greg Harris and BJ Cantlupe – who are still with him today – as well as his cousin Ben to form a pop-punk group called NTOL. In a scene dominated by hardcore and screamo, NTOL was one of the only melodic, lyrics-driven young outfits in the D.C. metro area.

After a couple of years, NTOL fizzled out. The band had recorded two EPs and had gotten the members a reputation in the young local music scene. Jonny felt that his songwriting had outgrown the band, and so he continued on by himself, recording songs acoustically in his basement. After a number of years, Jonny began to want to perform again, and to hear how his last few years of work would sound arranged for a band. In the Spring of 2008, he started to play solo shows in New York to get his name out, and that summer recorded a full-length LP of his last four years of work with his current lineup.

“The Weathercaster” is a fourteen track CD with everything from poignant, energetic, Dylan-esque acoustic folk to 70s style organ rock, pop, and ambient indie punk. It is diverse and eclectic, but not at all a collection of songs and absolutely an album. Jonny and his band are proud to back the record up at shows and play an energetic set, regardless of the speed of the songs or the format of the performance. Playing at times solo, at times as a duo or a trio of two guitars, bass, vocals, and backups, and at times as a full-on rock quintet, the band plays every show with the same excitement and ease.

As any respectable group should be able to say, Jonny B. Goodman and his band are proud of the immortalized fruits of their labor, but are first, last, and always a live entity.

Lyrics

If You're Ready

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

Well we all look down from the points atop our crowns
And we slither through the crawl spaces in attics in our minds
And when I do, sometimes I find I've too much space and too much time
Oh, I hate days like these, we can only pray for better days than these

But if you want it to, it can be over soon
Just close your eyes and let the hours slide, and baby you'll find
That if you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling like I do
Just say the word, because I'm right there too and I'm ready to take you away

Every time I fall for that girl who's gonna make me meet my maker
She's no mover, she ain't no shaker, but she don't like the way things are
She's got her fantasies and she reads cooking magazines
And she hates days like these, that's what I love her for, it's things like these

And we'll keep it steady, we'll stay hell bent on today
Just stick by my side until tomorrow, and baby you'll find
That if you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling like I do
Just say the word because I'm right there too and
I'm feeling like it's all on me to save you

But after two year's running, the soles of our feet have started to wear out
And she's been keeping something from me, something secret now for a while
And when she cries, sometimes she smiles that kind of sad knowing smile
'Cuz she knows someday soon we're going to be free
But that means one of us is gonna have to leave

And if you're ready, I can show you how it feels
to keep you in my head though you're so far away, though you're no longer real, and then
If you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling that way too
Just say the word because I'm right there too, and I'm dying to see you

And though I wished so long for this trouble free life
Its only recently I've found that I need something on my mind
And I know I'll miss the fights, but now I know I'll also miss those nights
We stayed up burning holes in the sky with our eyes, and always singin...

If you want it to, it can be over soon
Just close your eyes and let the hours slide, and baby you'll find
That if you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling like I do
Just say the word, because I'm right there too and I'm ready to take you away

Call It a Crime

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

Systematically added up, calculated how little is still too much importance to give a thing
I tossed around possibilities and didn't get much sleep that month, still living in the days and weeks that made better ones
My greatest failure's in letting go, but who hasn't a vice or two when it comes to knowing what a towel's for?
I gave an inch and I took back two, threw it in and took an old one off the floor
Straight shot for the door, turned around, came back and said "I've been here before"

And I think I had fun, but your look says you can't run
from where you'll go to where you're from,
it might make you think you're happier to be back behind the fence
To know you're tightening your top strings as I rosin my bow
And all the while, the vendor turns his crooked nose, and
the bums regret their enemies, the policeman still runs the corner down by the bakery
but the baker still says there's nothing to see, and there's nothing to see

Peace and quiet and city walks, oh, everything for the vibrancy of dreams
that connect you to me and give life to the space between
What's been done and we'll surely do
Passion faded to rhetoric: is it crime?
Can you call it a crime? It don't hurt nobody
You're just on my mind again

With eyes I know, but your look says you can't run
from where you'll go to where you're from,
it might make you think you're happier to be back behind the fence
To know you're tightening your top strings as I rosin my bow

Better to endeavor to memorize your verse, to finish last but to beat your curse
The commentator has barred himself indoors; you can play on, but noone'll keep the score

And all the while, the vendor turns his crooked nose, and
the bums regret their enemies, the policeman still runs the corner down by the bakery
but the baker still says there's nothing to see, and there's nothing to see

Don't Ask Now

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

I heard my daddy was a killer
I read it on the cafe wall
Oh, destroyer, employer, and
Self-proclaimed patron saint of everything
Yeah, I heard my daddy was a killer
I heard he took the cafe down

I let my feet fall on the rubble
Until they hauled the rubble out
And there stood a man with a child's heart
Heavy has he breathed,
I heard this is where the rebel yelled
Oh, I let my feet kick up the rubble
And buried that man inside the cloud

Nobody asked me, or my sisters and brothers
Take a look, can't you see we've been cryin'
For the man in the black jeans, oh,
Sh-sh-sh-sh-shake your tamborine,
T-t-take your melodies and leave

Left town and found when I came back here
The spirit of that man had travelled on
But still he stands waiting there,
Clings like a planet to the sun,
Orbit after orbit 'til he's done, yeah
Left town and found when I came back here
Oh, that man fought hard, but still my daddy won

Nobody asked me, or my sisters and brothers
Take a look, can't you see we've been cryin'
For the man in the black jeans, oh,
Sh-sh-sh-sh-shake your tamborine,
T-t-take your melodies and leave

How long will you remember the damage that's been done, and
How strongly do you feel that the war we lost
was the one worth fighting for?
Well, I hope you find a new battleground, and
I wish I didn't have to apologize, though
I know that my daddy was a killer,
but nobody ever asked me

Nobody ever asked me, nobody ever asked me
Shake your tamborine, take your melodies,
but don't ask me now, 'cuz nobody ever asked me
Oh, nobody ever asked me, nobody ever asked me
Nobody ever asked me then, so don't ask me now

Make These Sounds

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

When I found you sitting there in the park with one eye closed and one ear shut,
Singing out of key about how the time has left you,
But you'd left it all on the other side of the line and said goodbye
You were stuck halfway between the other hand and the first place
And you started to cry, but we all have those days,
We come to the road's divide and go neither way
It seems that the choice that cost you the feeling you lost, it was all that you could make

So sing a song of summertime instead, and believe me when I tell you that
No one would care to begrudge you the right to
Take another minute to save yourself and to clear your head because
Oh, no, the time got away again, but don't worry my friend
It's a constant cycle of trade, darlin what do you say? Can we work it out some other day?
After all, the storm's gonna start, 'cuz that's the state the art of livin' these days

If we'd have been born wiser, we could have told how the mighty have fallen once again
But we learn from things that calm us, yeah, we learn from what we can, and
We make these sounds, sit around and just wait for the echo to send the right way down
But unless they never call back, then the rest they say is music after that

And as for me, I'm learning now to believe that at fifteen miles a minute,
I'm burning the same candle that lit me a long time back, but in haste
I neglected to think about what I asked for when I chose to make a race
Out of life as I chased the melting wax to the floor,
Well, we all have our wars to fight and all of our wrongs to right
And I'll slow down soon, if you'll slow down too,
What do you call it when the long run turns us blue?

If we'd have been born wiser, we could have told how the mighty have fallen once again
But we learn from things that calm us, yeah, we learn from what we can, and
We make these sounds, sit around and just wait for the echo to send the right way down
But unless they never call back, then the rest they say is music after that

Can we break for just a minute, just for the sake of this lesson we have learned
It doesn't take much to come and go, all the fragile peace we earned
Well we've all worked hard in overtime, and don't we all deserve,
To be born again, with no crime again, with that calm; with that silent song;
Can we learn to sing along?

If we'd have heard that song we could have told then how
Our best plans have gone wrong once again
But we learn from things that calm us, yeah, we learn from what we can, and
We make these sounds, sit around and just wait for the echo to send the right way down
But unless they never call back, then the rest they say is music after that

Scotch Tape & Thumbtacks

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

Here I found when I was seventeen a hole in the ground
that was comfortable enough for me to sleep in
And I would watch everybody walking home
I'd wonder what they were looking for,
And who might be waiting for them
Like I was waiting for you to find me
At the coffee shop where I said I'd meet you
Though it's not like we ever drank coffee anyway

Isn't it funny the things you'll do when you think you've got someone who's easy to
Talk to and say I think things are fine, but darling won't you tell me some good news

And I drew lines across my forehead, tracing a miniature map
of the world, I realized its so fragile, I don't know
How anybody can move without bumping elbows with the acting king of volcanic
And so that our memories might live a little longer a life,
I hung your picture on my wall, and all the scotch tape and
Thumbtacks and high school games can wait for now

Isn't it funny the things you'll do when you think you've got someone who's easy to
Talk to and say I think things are fine, but darling won't you tell me some good news

And tell me, just how often can you say
You find yourself smiling but for no reason at all
You just can't stop your muscles' contracting
it all so fantastically spills into your mind

Here I found when I was seventeen
A place that was comfortable for me to meet you there
And we could talk over tea, 'cuz we never drank coffee anyway

I'm tired of sad stories about bad luck, so why don't you dry all your tears
I'm tired of sad stories about bad luck, so how about we stop living in fear
I'm tired of sad stories about bad luck, so tell me something that I'll want to hear
I'm tired of sad stories about bad luck

Old Mrs. Tanner

Written By: Jonny B. Goodman

Behind the eyes of her new born son,
Mrs. Tanner can’t find the way to his heart
So she figures he’s a safe bet;
she shows him love, but the boy can smell regret
For all the things that we all have done, but forget;
to the boy they seem the lingering scent of secrets on her breath

Old Mrs. Tanner, well she didn’t have a clue and she said
Will you make me right, son? You’re gonna make me right
Say old, say old expressions
Lay down to rest all your questions
Stay all, stay all through the night
And never say a word about goodbyes

Everybody dreams of some unborn days no one ever sees
I guess it helps to think as she watches her son drown
With all his crew in the same old hurricanes
Of bold mistakes and qualms and sorry stomach-aches
And errors to forget

Poor Mrs. Tanner, I know you did what you could do, yeah
I know he’s got your face dear, and he’s got your taste
Say old, say old expressions
Lay down to rest all your questions
Stay all, stay all through the night
Live and let live and say goodbye

If it’s all a circle, then it’s just to teach a kid some shame
So civilize me, and I can cure you of your name
If it’s all just a story, then its just to help some other story end
And I hope this helps some, this story written for a friend

Poor Mrs. Tanner, I know you did what you could do, yeah
I know he’s got your face dear, and he’s got your taste
Say old, say old expressions
Lay down to rest all your questions
Stay all, stay all through the night
And never say a word about goodbyes

Discography

The Weathercaster LP (2008) is our debut album, and it has just come out.

Set List

Our typical set list includes either no covers or one cover, usually of something that doesn't sound like the rest of our set. Previous covers have included "Dial-Up" by indie-pros Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, and "Eye of the Storm" by local D.C. roots ska outfit Eastern Standard Time.

Our sets are typically about 45 minutes long, but we can easily play more or less. The songs that are almost always inlcuded are:

Make These Sounds
Call it a Crime
Scotch Tape & Thumbtacks
So the Heart Don't Beat
If You're Ready
In All Your Old Boxes
Old Mrs. Tanner

We also switch in and out the following:

Break This Chain
Sunday Ramble
Jamie
World Can't Wait
Marathons
Soon Enough
I'm Not Sayin'
Give'em Hell

Those are the songs from our album, plus a couple more. We would typically play about 9 or 10 songs in a 45 minute set, or more if we choose shorter ones. There are also songs that we are currently adding to our original repertoire, but have not yer played live.