In the deep sonorous vibrations of Daniel Goodman’s voice and soul-stirring guitar strums lies a solid strain of hope. His American folk roots are clearly reflected in the reality of his powerful lyrics, words like salves that seek to offer an antidote to modern societies’ ills via a nostalgic nod to time lost in the haze of yesterday.
Goodman was born in Brooklyn before it was a destination, raised in New Jersey to parents whose environmental consciousness led them to join Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Sloop club in the 1970s, a decision that led to Goodman’s exposure to folk music and subsequent love of the music genre. It is that heritage combined with the faint underpinnings of the experimental jazz he cottoned to in high school and explored further at the Berklee School of Music that shine through Goodman’s new album, Cold Wind.
The album courses with strains of Goodman’s muses, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake, and the strong influence of 60s/70s British folk artists including Bert Jansch (Pentangle) and Anne Briggs as well as American folk idol Jackson C. Frank.
Goodman, a literal treasure seeker, travels far and wide for ancient rugs that reflect the past and can be sold to someone to place underfoot for their own beautiful future, just like his music.
“Antiques dealers travel from town to town like old time carnies, from the big flea markets of New England and New York State to the swap meets of the West, offering things up to hungry desperate people looking through scores of junk with the hope of uncovering a lost gem,” Goodman says.
The perpetual hopefulness of those hunters of rare objects is woven through Cold Wind’s hypnotic rhythms, through its beats--impossible not to move along to as Goodman sings the universal tales of the people, places and things on which that hope might be pinned.
Joined by legendary producer & drummer Anton Fier (Golden Palominos,) Cold Wind was born through a collaboration with Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman) and jazz bassist Arthur Kell (Spirits Rebellious Quintet’s Thomas Chapin, Claire Daly, Art Baron.) Artists Tony Scherr, Jon Cowherd and Larry Saltzman (Paul Simon), also join Goodman as he spins yarns of time spent rambling on the road through the U.S. and Europe. Initial tracks, which Goodman himself acknowledges carry a certain “ferociousness and cruelty,” unveil a torrent of fearless impassioned pleas to pay attention to the world around, as with the title track, “Cold Wind,” which explicates simply and perfectly the gulf oil spill with harsh lyrics including, “You quantify and call the role, you drill the sea so plug the hole.”
In “Pine Ridge,” an acoustic coupling that combines the haunting humming guitars of Goodman and Levy, the ruthlessness of Native American history is set out in stirring rhymes such as “You sell me forgiveness, I pay by the day, and rob me of peace, in the nights so I pray…”
“There is a lot of good in the world, but I don’t want to live in the ‘theater of optimism,’” Goodman says with great sincerity shining in his sympathetic green eyes, imbuing the title of his second track where realism reaches through the sliding guitar scales to say with assurance as strong as Goodman’s own sound, “you don’t pay at the door but in the end you pay for sure.” There is resolution, though, in the later tracks such as “True Love’s Eyes,” and “The Golden Road” as Goodman’s deeply pulsating baritone leads us straight to believing there is resolution, also, in life. Such affirmation is what makes Goodman an artist and Cold Wind an album worth paying for, in the end.
Cold Wind will be released officially on Thursday, October 6 with a kick-off release party at The Living Room, 154 Ludlow Street in Manhattan.