The Good Graces was formed in early 2007 when I picked up a $90 guitar from Atlanta’s late great Lakewood Antiques Market and started fiddling around with some simple chords and melodies. It wasn’t long before those simple chords and melodies turned into catchy, heartfelt indiepop tunes. Having been through a tumultuous divorce just three years prior, I guess failed relationships were on my mind. So I began exploring themes of heartache and hope, while both relecting on the past and looking forward to a happy future. The songs came very easily for me, so much that many of them seemed to write themselves.
It wasn’t long before the opportunity to play shows presented itself; the first was a short solo set at “See Through Souls,” an annual window art showcase put on by my friend Jenn Nelson. I played early in the day to a handful of friends, but one of them was John McNicholas. I had recently started playing with John in the Mary O. Harrison band (a great pop band for whom I played drums), so I knew he was an amazing player. So when he, perhaps jokingly, said that his own set was to serve as his audition for my band, I snatched him up quicker than you could say “twee.” With John on lead guitar, our style began to take shape, resulting in an atmospheric blend of shoegaze and folk.
The two of us quickly became regulars at local coffehouses such as Kavarna and Java Monkey. We set off to record some songs with the hopes of releasing an EP, but once I was in the studio I found that the ideas flowed even more freely, and the EP grew into a full-length. The result was “Sunset Over Saxapahaw,” a 10-song collection that I released on my own eskimo kiss records label in October 2008.
During the recording process I began to appreciate the addition of keyboards and percussion in my music, so I set out in search of more musicians to help round out the sound for our live shows. A post on myspace generated a response from Jim Combs, an Atlanta keyboardist who was very active in the electronic music scene. Jim learned all the songs after a single practice and was the perfect addition.
Since finding Jim and releasing my debut record, I've recorded and released four more, including my most recent full-length, "Drawn to You." The band has had the pleasure to perform at venues such as The EARL, 529, Drunken Unicorn (Atlanta), Evening Muse (Charlotte), The Cave (Chapel Hill), and as part of the revered Athens Pop Fest and Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC. My songs have also yielded a greater response than I ever would have dreamed of, with accolades from as near as Atlanta's Stomp and Stammer and as far as Canada (or probably farther, but I like Canada. And it's notable that tGG got a mention in Canada’s largest daily paper, The Star, listed in a top ten list of sorts along with folks like Kanye West and The Bee Gees!) The kind words are very flattering, but also so much more than I ever would have expected. I’ve never really had any “goals” when it comes to The Good Graces (which is rather ironic, considering that I’m a very goal-oriented person). From the beginning, I only wanted to write songs and have fun. I never even intended to make a record; I would have been happy just singing my songs to my dogs on my front porch. But the fact that people been able to connect with and appreciate my songs is a real honor and something that inspires me every day.