Exclusive Premiere: Goodnight, Texas’ “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme”

by Laura B. Whitmore
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at 10:48am

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I dig the first song from Goodnight, Texas’ new album, titled “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme.”

An Americana romp that’s brimming with clever lyrics and a catchy banjo-based twang, “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme” appears on their sophomore release, Uncle John Farquhar, due out August 5, 2014.

Full of fortune-seeking mischief all for the sake of getting the girl, “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme” exemplifies the band's signature storytelling style of songwriting that was first introduced on their critically acclaimed debut A Long Life of Living (2012).

"’A Bank Robber's Nursery Rhyme’ is about that wide-eyed feeling of invincibility when you're in pursuit of a nice big piece of the pie. The song has something of a Bonnie and Clyde vibe, with less violence,” shares Patrick Wolf. “The riff comes from a ditty from several years ago that had been wandering in the ether in search of lyrics. Once the concept took shape, Avi and I put it together in one sitting. Ironically, this is the probably the first lead riff I ever wrote for a banjo. I play it with a flat pick though, like a guitar."

Check out “A Bank Robbers Nursery Rhyme”

The duo of Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf, who are core songwriters of Goodnight, Texas, initially met in San Francisco. Wolf moved across the country to Chapel Hill, North Carolina but the two continued to collaborate and bonded over their mutual love of old wooden instruments and a vision of late nineteenth century blue collar America.

The two decided to name their cross-country musical collaboration after the tiny Texas panhandle town of Goodnight which is the exact mid-point in between their two homes (San Francisco and Chapel Hill)

This new album, Uncle John Farquhar is a deeper mediation on the bands fascination with the turn of the century era working class America. The album was conceptualized as a scrapbook.

The songs are inspired from personal experiences as well as stories and letters uncovered from digging through books, archives and their own personal family history.

Two of the artifacts collected from Patrick Wolf's great, great grandfather John Farquhar, for whom the album was named, include a sermon John delivered on the passing of Abraham Lincoln and several letters he wrote home after visiting a hospital just outside of Gettysburg just days after the famous tide turning battle. These items have not only inspired the songs but have been incorporated into the album packaging.

Americana is arguably an overused term at the moment — but what sets Goodnight, Texas apart from the pack is its richly imagined, full-color stories. Their songs transport listeners from the battlefields of the deep south to a saloon full of hard-drinking but good-natured regulars to the nervous feeling in the stomach of a poor boy about to ask for his girl’s hand in marriage.

Uncle John Farquhar showcases this talent perhaps better than ever, with the two songwriters’ styles playing off each other to great effect, balancing a wry sense of humor with an obvious respect for the ghosts of this country’s past.

Find out more at hiwearegoodnighttexashowareyou.com