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A Long Life of Living
San Francisco, CA
(Tallest Man Records)
“Hypnotic work of authentic ghost-town folk”
Second albums, or “sophomore releases,” are traditionally among a band’s best work. However, new San Francisco band Goodnight, Texas has upped the ante with A Long Life of Living – a formidable debut release.
Goodnight, Texas is named for a ghost town in Texas’ panhandle. Though they hail from both San Francisco and Chapel Hill, NC – two major metropolitan regions – the record, like the band’s namesake, sounds miles and miles away. From the opening track – the stark, haunting “Maggie’s Farm Forever,” a morbid riff on the Dylan classic – Long Life feels like something you might find in waterlogged box in someone’s attic. Rife with rustic songwriting and the squeal of calloused fingers over steel strings, Long Life is full of words and music that sound as if they’ve been seized from a bygone era, one where banjos and barn dances are still popular forms of entertainment.
The album’s standout tracks are so authentic that it’s hard to believe they were written in the 2010s by two twentysomethings – among them are “Jesse Got Trapped in a Coal Mine,” a classic cowboy ballad with a plaintive story arc, and the rabble-rousing “Railroad,” a galloping call-and-response. On Long Life, Goodnight Texas has proven themselves a well-oiled songwriting machine, managing to weld the old and new into a hypnotic work of historical fiction.