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Amy LaVere
  • YouTube

Goodnight, Texas is a band you’ve almost certainly heard by accident somewhere. And now on second look, you’re deep in their catalog and they’re telling you stories about trapped coal miners and lovebird bank robbers. Banjos and mandolins twinkle. Now you’re seeing Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf and their band live and they’re swelling to a fever pitch, suddenly singing quiet harmonies off-mic, and then rocking out again. You’re talking to them at the merch table for a good while and you’re legitimately excited about their new album Signals because, more than ever before, it captures the vast dynamic range of the show and blends it with their expansive and intricate songwriting.

Without doubt, the new album kicks. Lead single “RUNAWAYS” even features a blazing guest solo from none other than Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, who admired the band’s version of “Of Wolf and Man” on the 2022 covers album The Metallica Blacklist.

But beyond the memorable sock-you-in-the-face riffs, GN, TX is reaching its roots deeper in every direction on Signals. Their first album-sized trip into the studio expands their sonic range, thanks to Oakland’s Ian and Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof, Tune-Yards). Stories of the Americana of yore bleed into the near past and present via DB Cooper and North Dakota oil field workers. Electric guitars pound like hammers, but the mandolins still twinkle like stars. Is that song a little tongue in cheek? Are those strings?   

Further googling reveals that NME, Rolling Stone, No Depression and Consequence of Sound have recently featured the band, and that in 2023 they appeared at SXSW, Red Wing Roots and Austin City Limits Festival. They’ve toured with Larkin Poe, Shakey Graves, Trampled by Turtles, The Brothers Comatose, Donavon Frankenreiter, and John Craigie. Back in 2020, their song “The Railroad” was the opening montage theme for Tiger King, which had 53 million streams in its first week. Maybe that’s where you heard them in the first place. Or maybe it was the Coors Banquet commercial with Sam Elliott. Wait a minute, they have a quarter of a billion streams across platforms. Maybe it was at a bar or in your friend’s car, who knows. 

Still at the merch table at last call, you learn: Goodnight, Texas is a hamlet of 27 people and dozens of dogs, the exact mile-for-mile midpoint between co-founders Avi and Patrick’s homes in San Francisco and Chapel Hill (as the van drives). The band is hoping to make it back and play another show for their friends there in the near future.

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