They don’t look good in suits, they’re better fit for boots. A four-piece project out of Oceanside, Calif., the boys of Goodnight Ravenswood inject some old west into the southwest, what Neil Young would have sounded like were he raised by the sea. With an Americana spirit they’re quick to claim, the blue-collar band is a poignant look into life on the clock. Heavy influences of Springsteen, Petty and Ryans Adams curated in the shadow of working class lives.
Front man Coby Lee Brooks writes with a troubadour spirit, taxing lyrics that hurt in the good way. Work, booze, faith and the fairer sex, songs that speak to a desire for more than what we’ve settled for. Their set is appreciated best from a familiar bar stool, when the opening strut of a bass line takes you to a late summer sunset over an industrial yard, where Brooks croons:
We was loitering in the vacant lot / Drinking Coca Cola and throwing rocks / Sneaking little whiskey shots / Killing time / Now we’re headed to the movie house / gotta walk all the way ‘cross this filthy ass town / Kicking cans and smoking down our cheap cigarettes / But my sins are setting red / With the sun / When heaven’s hounds come undone.
Like a denim-clad belle sliding to the middle of the bench seat, their act puts the good that’s out there right in arm’s reach. Give them a stage, a stoop, or a soapbox, and Goodnight Ravenswood is a sound of our times. There’s a lived and learned sentiment to each strum and snare crack, a sound so far from perfect but so tied to purpose, for the Lord knows something better change before we go our graves.
Josh T Saunders
Assistant Editor, Surfer Magazine