With COVID still running rampant, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked his fellow senators this week whether they “want to do something? Or do you want to do nothing?” They decided to do nothing. The failed vote on the $300 billion coronavirus aid package proposed by McConnell and could be Congress’ last official act on a relief bill before the election.
Earlier this summer S.G. Goodman was recruited by other musicians to create the hashtag #KYmusiciansforBooker. The rising folk music star, who was born and raised in Western Kentucky on the Mississippi River Delta, endorsed Charles Booker as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Charles Booker ultimately lost the Senate race, but showed so much promise! Imagine, a pro-Medicare for All, pro-Green New Deal, and pro-UBI Black candidate almost won in Kentucky – IN FUCKING KENTUCKY!
Anyways, politics and negativity aside, the rising bluegrass queen has hit her stride with the release of her debut album, “Old Time Feeling,” produced by Jim James. S.G. Goodman’s impassioned and idiosyncratic voice has landed her immense praise, as she seeks to debunk rural stereotypes, explore mental health and challenge the notion that you can still love your family while disagreeing with them. Goodman’s progression has been one to watch, as she went from singing in church three times a week to becoming a member of the Murray, Kentucky indie scene.
S.G. Goodman is amongst the next generation of Kentuckians who are transforming their beloved state, while still holding on to the fabric that makes Kentucky.
How do you think growing up in a strict southern family influenced your music today?
Well, I’d say there were more pros than cons. I come from really hard-working people, and I believe that has bled into how I approach music. There is a lot more to being an artist than just writing a song. Also, I didn’t find a lot of the “strictness” of my home life to be an issue. I didn’t know any different. If anything, having so much ideology to wade through has given me the pleasure of knowing the good that can come from self-interrogation.
If you had to pick ONE song that is your favorite on the album which one is it? Why?
I mean, a mother doesn’t pick favorites. I’d say a song that is special to me is “Tender Kind.” The reason being I wrote that while in the studio making this record. It felt very organic and brought an unexpected wave of creativity between the band and I.
What singers inspire you? Do you think any of them influenced your rich, earthy sound?
I kind of hate this question. I’m inspired by so many singers, but a lot of them you would have never heard of. I grew up attending three concerts a week in a small baptist church. That’s where I learned to sing, and the congregation I was a part of were my teachers. I’m not a church-goer at this point in my life, but there is something to be said about being led to believe your voice was reaching the ears of God. Maybe my mind doesn’t believe that anymore, but my body still does?
When did you decide to get into politics and activism? Do you think it’s important to use your platform to enact social change?
I guess when I became voting age. Whether you engage with politics or not, it engages with you.
Have you found it hard to have these tough political conversations with your family?
I encourage all people to have pre-conversations with a therapist first.
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Story / Ali Qutmiera