First Posted: 1/14/2014
Steve Goode, a native of Jackson Street in Dallas and a graduate of Dallas High School, walked the streets of Dallas Borough delivering mail along CR 4 (city route 4) for 25 years where he was a popular figure, bringing letters and cheer to all along his route.
What folks in town didn’t know was that Goode had all these rhythms and melodies swirling around in his mind as he plodded along the streets.
Since his early retirement, Goode has produced two CDs and has become the darling of the gas coalition group with the popularity of one of his songs, “Water Buffalo,” about the poisoned water residents of Dimock now have as a result of disrupted gas and water tables and the natural gas “fracking” process.
“I’m semi-political.” says Goode. “I can just as easily write a song about the gas industry workers as I can about the people in Dimock,” he says. (Goode has signed his own three acres of land in Beaumont over to the gas drillers).
He feels sorry about the results and for the people in Dimock. The third song on the CD is named “Lonely Man” and is about the life of men traveling with the gas industry.
“I don’t think it’s hypocritical – the songs are just a reflection of what is,” he says, adding that he wants the gas industry to succeed and hopes it can process and produce gas in a safe way.
The self-taught, deaf in one ear, musician says he has 100 songs in his head at any one time and, just in the last year and a half, has put them into CD form. He usually starts with the rhythm and melody and then adds words, but admits he’s no Hemmingway and can’t hear the base lines anymore.
Two years ago when his wife, Mary, a retired Lake-Lehman school teacher was affected by breast cancer, he decided it was time to put her favorite songs (like Dylan, Loggins and Messina sung by himself) on a CD. He produced his first album along with his daughter, Katie. “I wanted something to leave for my children and grandchildren,” he said.
The result was so much fun he decided to produce the second CD, this time with his own lyrics and songs. He worked with Joe Luftus in his studio in West Wyoming, along with a few other local musicians – Ann Winter, harmonica; Tom Kinter, bass; Mike Warner, organ; Jay Preston , trombone – to produce the Steve Goode Band/ Five from the Heart album that the NEPA gas coalition use on its website.
Making the album was a learning process, a process of meticulously refining songs and vocals and blending instruments. “It’s kind of like making a cake,” Goode says. “You can throw all the ingredients together, but you really need to take time.” Goode spent hours in the recording studio working on the CD.
Goode writes the songs,does all the vocals on the album and plays the guitar.
He thinks new CDs and themes are on the horizon for him – CDs about land and farmers and animals – wherever his heartstrings pull him.