Joe Goodkin is the founder of the band Paper Arrows, a popular Chicago-based pop and indie rock band. You may also know him as the musician who travels the country performing his unique, award-winning interpretation of The Odyssey.
Releasing Record of Life on Quell Records—a label he launched 8 years ago—this is his first record under his own name. Finding that The Odyssey was generating a lot of interest and reaction that he hadn’t been tapping into with Paper Arrows, Goodkin tried to replicate the paradigms from the folk-opera into a more conventional folk/rock/indie release.
With the city of Chicago serving as a landscape, Goodkin constructs ambient creative guitar soundscapes on Record of Life. Using one guitar for the recordGoodkin layered the sound, “Up to five times on some tracks”, he said. “I used a 1963 Gibson ES-125t, which I believe is haunted.” He explains further, “It seems to have a character of its own. And I wanted that to come out on the record, almost like a personality, since any noise not my voice was created by that guitar I felt it was like a band mate. There were also a couple situations where the guitar generated notes I wasn't playing, overtones and undertones, perfectly in tune and complementary.”
Goodkin describes his audience, “People who like quiet music. People who like stories. People who want to cry and be moved.” Taking general life experiences and then divulging specifics about his life, Goodkin’s fans seem to be affected by his directness and risk-taking. “To me, being moved by other people is inspiring.”