The Goodfellers, a hard-driving bluegrass band from Pinnacle, NC, make much of the gangster theme implied in their band name, though largely in a lighthearted fashion. It’s a clever, down home play on the title of the 1990 film, Goodfellas, considered a classic of the mob genre starring Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci. Ladies often miss the charm of this category of movies which their menfolk find so compelling, but I think anyone can get a chuckle out of a bluegrass band calling themselves The Goodfellers.
The guys have a new, self-titled album which combines their own original songs with a few well-chosen standards to showcase their contemporary sound. The four members have long experience in bluegrass, but also allow influences from outside to mark their music. You’ll hear chord changes and vocal stylings that may seem more at home in rock or newgrass, but they make it fit right into their bluegrass approach.
A first single from the record is starting to get played on bluegrass radio, Blue Eyed Caroline, written by Jason Shore, who Carolina grassers may recall from the Shady Grove Band out of Chapel Hill some years back. Jason is the cousin of Goodfellers mando man Ralph McGee, and when he shared the song with the band, they decided to cut it. It’s a lost love/leavin’ song with a bluesy feel.
In addition to Ralph on mandolin, The Goodfellers are Teddy Barncastle on guitar, Hersie McMillan on banjo, and Tim Hill on bass.
Both the single and the full album are available now through the popular download sites, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.