The Good Brothers have music at heart

When it comes to keeping music all in the family, Canadian country music group The Good Brothers knows a thing or two. After all, here is a trio of talented musicians that has been active for almost 40 years and has faithfully toured throughout the world while avoiding the pitfalls of fame that befall so many other bands.

The Good Brothers are slated to perform at the Moncton Press Club on Saturday, Oct. 15. The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

It was originally scheduled to take place at Olivier Soapery in the Chocolate River Station in Riverview, but that business has closed, so the show was moved. Tickets to the original venue will be honoured at the press club.

The brothers have a New Brunswick connection that runs deep. Though neither Bruce Good nor his brothers and band mates Larry and Brian were born or raised in New Brunswick, Bruce insists the roots and the traditions of the region run through their blood.

“My parents left New Brunswick to move to Ontario during the Second World War,” Good says from his Ontario home. “My Dad got offered a job at Massey Ferguson here and ended up staying at that job for 35 years.”

While his father worked hard to support his growing family, Good credits his mother for being the catalyst for bringing music into their household.

“My mother played guitar although she never did so on stage. I grew up having been surrounded by jam sessions at our house which of course is a very Atlantic Canadian thing to have grown up with. We might not have lived in New Brunswick but my mother brought the musical atmosphere of so many homes from the region to Ontario with her.”

Good says that he, his twin brother Brian and his brother Larry would often sing around the house, having been taught to harmonize by their mother. Eventually, Bruce and Brian began playing gigs at local coffee houses where they eventually met James Ackroyd, another musician. Billing themselves as James Ackroyd and The Good Brothers, the trio had a very unlikely first gig, opening for Grand Funk Railroad at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The group was also fortunate enough to go on to perform on the famed Festival Express train tour alongside acts like The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and more.

“I still sit and wonder how we landed that gig,” Good laughs. “It truly was a baptism by fire and such an incredible experience for us.”

Once the Festival Express tour wound down, Good says that the trio spent some time in California performing and recording with members of the Dead. Eventually though, Bruce and Brian returned to their home and native land, enlisting their brother Larry to join them in their musical adventures and thus The Good Brothers were born in 1974.

The last three and a half decades have been kind to The Good Brothers. As a group, they have won eight Juno Awards for Best Country Group, recorded 14 records together, performed for audiences throughout the world and were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

“We have had music take us all over the world; I never dreamed that it would have been a possibility,” Good says. “I am probably most grateful for the fact that our parents had a chance to see the success we were given before they passed away. They saw the Juno wins, the gold records; we cannot be anything but grateful for the careers we have had.”

Since family has always been a central focal point of The Good Brothers career, it makes complete sense that their children would go on to make music for themselves. Bruce’s sons Dallas and Travis are members of acclaimed psychedelic country band The Sadies, a band that both Bruce and his wife Margaret have joined for performances in the past. In fact, Bruce and Margaret both appeared on The Sadies’ 2006 live record In Concert while Bruce shares that he and Margaret along with other Good family members join forces from time to time as an eight-piece band that performs under the band name of The Good Family. Clearly, the Goods will be a family forever bonded by music.

“My mother would be so proud to see all of us on stage together,” he says. “There is no doubt in my mind that if she was alive, she would be right there on stage with us too.”

Article published in October 7, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript

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