Press for Record of love
Anhedonic Headphones (Top 10 2017): "It’s an evocative, and incredibly personal collection, but Goodkin is a smart enough songwriter that while these songs and stories are his, the themes present are universal enough that you not only are able to find where you fit in to his memories set to music, but you can use these songs to soundtrack your own moments of living, losing, and loving."
Imperfect Fifth: "Chicago-based indie folk musician Joe Goodkin recently released the third installment in his record trilogy, an album titled Record of Love which follows 2015’s Record of Life and early 2017’s Record of Loss. This album is a bit different, as every single sound was created (somehow) with a single guitar. Listening closely, you can slowly figure out some of the sound manipulations and how it was done, but largely this album is so well structured that it isn’t even something that necessarily occurs to you. All of that aside, Record of Love has delicately captivated us..."
For Folk’s Sake: “‘What Remains is Love’ is a fairly straightforward affair in the best way possible. Without any cool mechanic manipulations, Goodkin is left with the simplicity of which his straight-shooting, sweet vocals and his guitar were born with. What remains is an emotive, empathetic, and forward-looking tune bereft of anger or confusion. It invites clarity where grief once was and sometimes, even, still remains, offering a blisteringly human reflection that just about anyone can relate to.”
Anhedonic Headphones: "There is no cure for the human condition, but throughout, Goodkin finds the balance between nostalgia and pathos, all while making room for poignancy, clarity, and reflection; and that may be the most impressive feat of all. The entire project—a cycle of three EPs based around such personal songwriting is both ambitious and admirable, and in coming out the other side, Life, Loss, and Love shows that Joe Goodkin is a tremendous and fearless songwriter."
Press for Record of loss
New City: "For me, the line that best encapsulates this remarkable release is from the penultimate cut: “It gave my grief somewhere to go / And start again a better man.” The ancients believed all art should be catharsis; in “Record of Loss,” Joe Goodkin has created something they would have recognized and embraced."
Anhedonic Headphones: "By no means a “light” listen, and in line with Nick Cave’s recent meditation on death, Skeleton Tree, Record of Loss takes an emotional toll on you, but the weight you feel afterward is a price worth paying. Goodkin is making a name for himself as an important songwriter of this generation—moving away from the “indie pop” of his first band Paper Arrows, this series of personal albums are a master class in how to lay it all out on the table, set it to music, and absolutely devastate the fuck out of your audience.
The Daily Vault: “The polar opposite of an easy listen, Record Of Loss is nonetheless a tremendous achievement, fearlessly documenting some of the most difficult moments humans ever face. Far from wallowing in the pain of loss and the cloud of grief that follows, Record Of Loss offers a path through it and out the other side, a trail blazed with raw honesty and a fierce belief in the resilience of the human spirit.”
Indie Voice Blog: "Folk music keeps a record of our lives and legacy, and keeps them alive by retelling those stories in song. Our country has not had a true troubadour since Woody Guthrie, but we believe that his successor has finally arrived in the person of Joe Goodkin."
Parcbench: "Heartbreak has no beginning and no end. What Joe Goodkin has done with it is treat it with the respect that it deserves, considering what a sizable role it can play in our lives. He has come up with a song cycle that caresses and soothes the sometimes inevitable pain. In its own way, it is a welcome Valentine unlike any other."
We Plug Good Music: "Joe Goodkin has delivered a rather intimate and uniquely executed EP. The lyrics are never short of the deeply thoughtful and, given the life he’s lead and the people he’s met, it seems to possess many nuggets of hard fought wisdom."
Music Morsels: "Chicago’s Joe Goodkin is making serious efforts to redefine 'singer-songwriter.' ... As the middle child of a three EP set, 'Record Of Loss' is stunningly beautiful and undeniably real."
press for record of life
Pop Matters: "Goodkin debuts his frankest, most emotionally-affecting work of his career over the six tracks of which Record of Life is comprised, dealing with explaining his take on more sweeping facets of human life through the exemplification of his own experiences."
New City: "Now Goodkin has emerged on the other side with a new EP, “Record of Life,” that comes across almost as an adaptation of his own earlier work—or more accurately, a commentary on it; a corrective of where it didn’t go far enough—as if all that time spent with Homer has given him the cojones to call bullshit on his previous, more timid self."
Red Dirt Report: "Joe Goodkin's EP Record of Life is a compilation of life stories set to beautiful, soft music and vocals. Record of Life is simple enough for people to easily relate, yet so full of experiences that strong emotions are evoked."
press for joe’s odyssey
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University, Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics: “Homeric poetry is rooted in song and song-culture. Joe Goodkin's powerful renditions of episodes from the Odyssey, shaped in his highly personal, riveting musical idiom, recover an essential feature of archaic Greek epic: its lyric-like emotional grip and feel, the immediacy of a live narrative voice. Joe's Odyssey—and his rhapsodic travels to perform it—make for the closest thing we might now have to Homer.”
South Dakota Public Radio Interview: “Homer's ‘The Odyssey’ has been analyzed and adapted hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. And yet something about the epic poem continues to draw readers and scholars and artists near again and again. Joe Goodkin joins us in the SDPB Vermillion studios for a preview of ‘Joe's Odyssey,’ his 30 minute original music composition for solo acoustic guitar and voice.”
University of Tennessee Daily Beacon: “As Goodkin performed his Odyssey, this living and universal dimension unfolded line by line, chord by tensely beautiful chord. As he strummed and picked out a winding melody, hands gliding across frets and strings like wave-tossed boats on a tempestuous sea, voice harmonizing at times like a tortured sailor, at times a man glad to be finally home…”
press for paper arrows (the band)
Chicagoist: “The twang on Good News For Love is more defined, the tempo slowed and the songs warmer and more full-bodied… These songs are some of the most sophisticated rock tunes we’ve heard from Paper Arrows to date.”
Groupon: “Goodkin knows how to hit his listeners in the gut, whether he’s singing about heartbreak or stepping back from the mic to let his guitar do the talking. Goodkin’s fifth and latest studio album is titled Good News for Love, but what it really is is good news for people sick of hipster posturing and yearning for music with some real emotional meat on its bones.”
The Chicago Tribune: “Much of Paper Arrows' musical output sounds scarred by some great tragedy. ‘Everything dear disappears,’ band founder Joe Goodkin sings amid the wreckage of ‘Things We Would Rather Lose,’ a gorgeous heartbreaker of a tune that finds him strolling around falling skyscrapers with the same broken, emotionally detached aura that Bill Murray projects throughout ‘Lost in Translation.’”