James and the Good Brothers

Band members               Related acts

- James Ackroyd - acoustic guitar, vocals

- Bruce Good - guitar, autoharp, vocals

- Brian Good - acoustic guitar, vocals

- Larry Good - banjo, vocals

- Brian Hilton - drums

- Bill Kreutzmann - drums

- Mike McMasters - bass

- Sammy Piatsa - drums

- Red Shea - guitar

- Ollie Stang - dobro



- The Good Brothers (Bruce Good - Brian Good)




Genre: folk-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  James and the Good Brothers

Company: Columbia

Catalog: CS-30889

Year: 1971

Country/State: Toronto, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4446

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


Always interesting how timing is everything ...  I woke up on a Saturday morning and while waiting for my wife, read the movie reviews in my local paper.  One of the reviews that caught my attention was for a documentary entitled "Festival Express".  The film apparently captured Janis Joplin, The Dead and other bands on a money losing 1970 cross-Canada train ride-cum-concert tour.  


So what's that got to do with this album?  Well it turns out that James and the Good Brothers (singer/guitarist James Ackroyd and twin brothers Bruce and Brian Good) were part of that tour.  Not only were they part of the tour, but the contacts they made with members of The Dead's extended entourage got them an invitation to the West Coast.  Once in California they started playing local clubs where they were spotted by The Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady and The Dead's Bill Kreutzmann.  The two apparently lobbied for the trio, with Columbia eventually signing them to a recording contract.


Produced by Betty Cantor, 1971's "James and the Good Brothers" isn't bad.  Imagine CS&N were they Canadian and interested in pursuing a more country oriented sound ...  A largely original and acoustic set, tracks such as 'Talk About the Good Times', 'Serving Time' and 'Oh How She Rides' sported some first rate melodies and excellent vocal harmonies.  In fact, the comparison to CS&N is quite apparent on tracks such as 'At Dawn'.  All three principals were gifted with nice voices and the arrangements may not have been the year's most original, but were still interesting.  Curiously, my favorite tracks are the two non-originals; in this case their cover of Steve Winwood's 'Can't Find My Way Home' and a cover of Nilsson's 'Rainmaker'.  Mentors Casady and Kreutzmann both played on the album, as did fellow Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.  You probably won't be shocked to learn the album went nowhere, though the group kept at it until 1973 at which point the Good brothers opted to return to Canada.  Recruiting younger brothers Larry they've become a popular country band.


"James and the Good Brothers" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Ecks   (James Ackroyd)

2.) Talk About the Good Times   (Brian Good)

3.) Say Goodbye   (Brian Good)

4.) Serving Time   (Brian Good)

5.) Poppa Took the Bottle from the Shelf   (Bruce Good)

6.) Can't Find My Way Home   (Steve Winwood)


(side 2)

1.) No You Can't Help Yourself  (Bruce Good)

2.) Never a Loser   (Brian Good)

3.) Oh How She Rides   (James Ackroyd)

4.) At Dawn   (Brian Good)

5.) Light   (James Ackroyd)

6.) Rainmaker   (Harry Nilsson)




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