MP3 Goodbye Sons - Endings With No Story
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, COUNTRY: Country Rock
Goodbye Sons, a band centered
in Grassy Cove, TN, has just
completed its second full-length
CD, "Endings With No Story," a
studio project 6 months in the
making. The band plays a blended
style of rock that comprises the
strains of many forms of traditional
music from the South.
"Our sound overlaps many
classifications or genres, and I think
that makes it accessible to a larger
cross-section of listeners," said
Christopher Miller, drummer for the
band. "I sure wouldn't label it
southern rock, nor alternativecountry
or any other fusion style,
just good music with a southern
The band was founded in 2001
when brothers-in-law John Bristow
and Christopher Miller began
playing together on the weekends.
Then, after practicing in the attic of
an old tarpaper shack in Grassy
Cove, working on original material,
they began to brainstorm for a
"I liked the words 'goodbye
sons' because it's somewhat
ambiguous," remarked Bristow,
guitarist/singer. "There's the pun
with 'son' and 'sun' and there's also
that off-to-war imagery. Plus,
we're all sons, but kinda saying
goodbye to that role as we develop
the larger roles of adulthood, so I
appreciate the transition the name
Goodbye Sons had plenty of
material, even in the early days, as
Bristow had been recording songs
for quite a while, four-tracking all
the different instruments himself.
But now that the band was officially
a band, additional members were
needed. Enter Greg White, bassist.
"I was interested in the group
because they were playing mostly
original songs, not the standard bar
tunes, and at this point they were
only guitar and drums, so it was
something that I could fatten up,
something I could add my own
signature to," White said.
In addition to the initial songs
by Bristow, both original members
had written new songs, hashed out
during practices. Excited by the
sound they were creating, it was
decided to record a CD for
White's friend, Joshua Hall, a
multi-instrumentalist who plays a
mean banjo, then in the Knoxville
band Blackgrass, was asked to
come aboard in time for the
"I feel fortunate and proud to be
able to live where I do and to play
with such a group of talented guys
who are also great friends," Hall
said. "I love to play my banjo with
Goodbye Sons and I also have the
freedom to play things with keys as
well as things with strings."
The band chose the logical
setting for recording: Click Studios
in Crossville, TN, where Bristow
was employed as recording
engineer. The process lasted
several months, and the album was
eventually released with the title
"March," named after the month in
which it was born and to add to the
Promotion of the CD was
minimal, having no record
company to push it, but hundreds of
copies sold in a dozen countries,
buoyed mostly by word-of-mouth
from various online communities.
It was hailed by listeners as "fresh,"
"beautiful," and "the best music to
come along in ages."
CD's were distributed, shows
played, and as time went on, the
band began to gel solidly as a unit.
Guitarist David Sojka, a cousin-inlaw
to Bristow and Miller, had been
invited to hop aboard, and the
group's sound became thicker and
more intricate, as each member
conjoined his own particular
musical influences to the mix.
"John and I switch up rhythm
and lead guitar, so it's certainly
never boring," says Sojka. "And I
prefer the dynamic of a two-guitar
lineup because it really shores up
the music. It's full-bodied rather
Both Bristow and Miller were
continuing to write lyrics during
this time, with the entire band or
Bristow alone putting music to
them. The songs began piling up,
and soon it was realized another
CD would have to be made.
Fast-forward to today:
"The songs on our new CD are
richer, more stylized," said Miller.
"We grew as individual musicians,
and we grew as a band, and we
grew as songwriters, and John's
skills in the studio are just amazing.
So this record reflects all that
improvement. It's more listenable,
more professional-sounding but it
ain't no sellout venture. If
anything, it's even less
"We took more time and more
risks, and we cut fewer costs and
corners. We wanted it to be worth
the trouble," Bristow states. "We
wanted to make something we'd
always be proud of.
"Endings With No Story" is a
complete collection of songs, not
the normally assembled hodgepodge
that tends to devalue a
package. Not all themes are
identical, and each song sounds
different than the previous, but the
flavor and personality are
consistent, like a musical road trip.
You can't just pop this CD into the
stereo and play it in the middle; it's
one of those infrequent beginningto-
The CD begins with an
instrumental, "Corridor Blanco," a
despondent melody reminiscent of
a New Orleans funeral march,
leading into the strident furor of
"Down to the Wire," genuine fullrocking
romanticism. This takes us
to "White Knuckle Ride," the
racous tale of an ill-advised shotgun
seating, joy-riding with a man
who's not looking out for our best
Next is "Kisses on the Ground,"
the apparently normal forlorn
portrayal of love's illusion, until the
rising flutter of a horn section
reminds us that the cup really is
half full. Then "Thin Air," a melancholy
(but bouncy) recount of love
that seemed to disappear.
Followed by "Good For You,"
apologetic but confident, and
"Come Home With Me," concerned
with the satisfying realization that
ya gotta be yourself.
The strong slide guitar and
hefty spine of "Barstool Policies"
underscores the simple admonition
to leave the past behind. "Along
Those Lines" tells the story of a
rambling woman, liable to pick up
and leave at any time. Next is
"Divide the Blue," a curious but
musically compelling description of
"I'm Not Dreaming" picks the
pace up again, about a guy who
can't believe what he's got is
actually real. Then the title track,
"Endings With No Story," pseudotraditional
mountain music about a
body or two that have mysteriously
Finally, to put the CD to bed, a
frolicking yet bemoaning song of
soured love, "Need is a Selfish
Reason," with an alternating crunch
and horn-section that commands
your toes to tap. It's the perfect
climax to a CD that simply invites
us to tag along. The music is
challenging, the lyrics are
attractive, and the sense of entirety
within the CD is refreshing.
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