“Dave Goodman, mastermind between pop and blues, presents a summit between musical personalities like Keb Mo and Robben Ford, when both are having a good day.”
— Andreas Schulz, chief editor, Akustik Gitarre
Dave Goodman, guitarist, singer and songwriter was born in Victoria B.C. Canada on March 28, 1965. The youngest of seven children, he grew up in a musical household. Starting with the violin at age 12, he quickly changed over to the electric guitar taking private lessons and playing with his older brothers. As a teenager, under the tutelage of his mentor, West Coast blues guitar master and technician Dave Vidal, he learned to play blues as well as guitar building and repair, electronics, and pickup winding. From age 15-18 while still at home he immersed himself in jazz playing with school mate (future Skywalk keyboardist) Miles Black in the Victoria clubs and jazz cafes. At age 17, Goodman was selected as best high school jazz guitarist in the province of British Columbia to play in "The Honor Jazz Ensemble“ led by Canadian Jazz legend Phil Nimmons. After graduating from high school, Dave moved to Vancouver to study jazz at Vancouver College under Bruce Clausen.
The next few years found Goodman playing all over Canada as well as in the USA including a house gig at the renowned "Wave Waikiki" in Hawaii where he hosted guest sessions with many artists such as David Sanborn, Terry Lynn Carrington and Was Not Was. In this period he also played with Canadian Jazz trumpeter Mark Hasselbach and toured as support for The Jeff Healey Band as well as opening for The Doobie Brothers in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum.
In 1990, Dave moved to Northern California where he became a fixture in the Bay Area blues scene playing with guitarist Steve Kimock and singer Judge Murphy in the Goodman Murphy band.
During this period he recorded for Mike Varney’s Blues Bureau International label on CD-1 of a three CD set of Bay Area blues artists which featured Tommy Castro, Johnny Nitro, Garth Webber and Chris Cobb, all colleagues in the North Beach blues scene. Dave also played in trio formation with Bay Area blues legend piano/organist Stu Blank and drummer Ty Smith.
It was with this trio that he had the honor of meeting and playing for John Lee Hooker. Blank, a friend of Hooker’s, invited him to the South San Francisco club where they were playing. John Lee Hooker entered the club, Goodman recalls, in a sharkskin suit, porkpie hat and two beautiful young ladies, one on each arm. Hooker stayed and listened to a ninety minute set. Complimenting the band in his classic talking blues stutter, “you b- b -b -boys, y-y -yoos so good, y-yoos so tight.” He then signed his name with a felt pen on the front of Dave’s Stratocaster. Dave lacquered over the signature and it is still there today. It was a stellar moment in Dave's career he says. "John Lee Hooker insisted on taking my phone number."
Always keeping a finger in the technical side of music Dave became involved with the world renowned California amplifier manufacturer Mesa Boogie in 1991.
During his years with Mesa, he designed The Revolver, a rotating speaker system for guitar much like a ‘Leslie’ is for organ.
Boogie licensed the Revolver from him and put it into production in 1995. Carlos Santana bought the first two which Dave delivered to him personally and set up in his rig – another very big honor and highlight in his career.
Other artists who bought Revolvers include Prince, Metallica, Soundgarden, Blues Traveller, Warren Haynes, and Sonny Landreth.
Dave Goodman Band 1995
During this period Dave toured Europe as a member of the Ford Blues Band led by Patrick Ford, drummer/producer and brother of Robben Ford. With the help of Patrick Ford he began to make contacts in Europe. Eventually he secured a management deal, and a recording contract first with German label Bear Family Records and later with CrossCut Records. Through this period Dave was still playing electric guitar in trio formation with Canadian drummer Aaron Anderson and Hawaiian bassist Billy Mendoza as the Dave Goodman Band. This band only released one CD, “Live ‘96” which was recorded at the Breminale Festival and was produced by songwriter Manfred Fleckenstein, Goodman's manager at that time. It was released on Bear Family Records (BCD 17009) that year.
In 1998, ready for a change from living in California, Dave relocated to Germany. Since his early teens he had always wanted to live in Europe. He also felt it was time to make a musical change as well as doing some soul searching. He took a break from playing live and began concentrating on fingerstyle acoustic guitar and writing songs in a more personal style. His first acoustic CD, “Roadbook Rhymes” (CrossCut Records CCD 12001), a very intimate collection of original songs in a roots singer songwriter style was released in 2000 on Crosscut Records. It was mostly a solo recording with three songs in duo formation with guest guitarist from Switzerland, Hank Shizzoe. His second acoustic CD, “Rocks, Skies and Waters” (CrossCut Records CCD 12007) was released in 2004. It is also a very personal collection of original roots oriented songs ranging from solo, to several instruments played by Dave, as well as trio performances with drums and upright bass. Both CDs sold well and received very positive critiques in Europe.
This period marked the beginning of an endorsement deal with Yamaha Music. Aside from his own concert schedule, Dave tours for Yamaha Music taking part in events ranging from festivals and club dates to clinics and master classes in music schools all over Central and Eastern Europe, the U.K. and as far as Asia, the USA and Canada. Yamaha has organized solo acoustic tours of the U.K. with Goodman together on the bill with Glenn Tilbrook of “Squeeze” fame and guitar master Antonio Forcione performing in The Queens Hall Edinburgh and Ronnie Scott’s in London. Although focused on his solo acoustic music Dave’s abilities as an electric guitarist have been called upon to play in duo or band formation with Jazz artists Chris Min Doky, Eric Miyashiro and Nigel Hitchcock all of whom he performed with on the 2011 Frankfurt Music Messe. Dave appears every year on the Frankfurt Messe playing his solo acoustic program.
Between touring Dave has steadily become more in demand as a producer and composer. He co-produced an acoustic CD for French singer Fred Blondin, who writes songs for and tours with French star Johnny Hallyday. He also co-wrote several tracks and played on Ruf Records artist Big Daddy Wilson “Love Is The Key” album from 2010 as well as numerous sessions.
In 2009 Goodman was approached by Peter Finger to record for his label Acoustic Music Records. The resulting CD “Side Of The Road” featuring Big Daddy Wilson, Steve Baker and Joe Dinkelbach was released later that same year. Since appearing on their Open Strings Festival in 2009 he has frequently been a featured artist on the label’s International Guitar Night tours as well as playing double concerts with Peter Finger, Michael Fix, and many of the artists on the Acoustic Music roster. Dave is now a regular workshop/video columnist for Acoustic Music Records guitar magazine "Acoustic Player" as well as releasing instructional books and videos for the label. He is also one of the three teachers in the Acoustic Music May Guitar Workshop which takes place annually in Osnabrück, Germany.
Goodman also released a DVD in 2010 called “Blue," which is a personal portrait with interviews, stories, concert segments and a guitar workshop as an extra. This highly entertaining film was produced by director Willie Burger who also produced the Dubliners film Five Beards On The Road.
In 2011 Dave performed in eighteen countries including India, Turkey, Greece and all over Eastern, Western and Southern Europe as well as appearing in Scandinavia, the U.K. and North America. Despite his busy touring schedule he managed to find time for a new project with harmonica master Steve Baker. They recorded the CD “The Wine Dark Sea” featuring percussionist/drummer Martin Röttger, released in September 2012 on Acoustic Music Records and nominated for the quarterly prize of the German Record Reviewers Association. Goodman, Baker and drummer Oliver Spanuth tour currently as the Dave Goodman Band and have newly released a live CD "Bielefeld Bootleg" (2016).
This unique lineup without a bass player ranges from power trio to almost a sensitive chamber group and offers a fascinating concert experience with great original songs, beautiful solo work and a high degree of entertainment.
In the latter part of 2013 Dave recorded the CD “No Rest For The Wicked,” released in January 2014 on Acoustic Music Records. A retrospective look at his musical and cultural roots, this intense and sparsely produced acoustic recording featuring Oliver Spanuth on percussion has received brilliant critiques and regular airplay on German radio.
In autumn 2013 he was invited to appear on the German TV show Supertalent and was unanimously voted into the next round by all four jurors. Despite the heavily hyped setting, Dave remained visibly unimpressed by the media circus and delivered an unaffected and moving rendition of his composition Song For Jimmy which delighted both jury and audience. The power of his music carries its own conviction.
The last two years have been productive for Goodman. Keeping up with an ever expanding tour plan and ever widening international recognition, including solo support for Peter Mafay, he has managed to produce two new CDs and is close to completing a third.
"Bielefeld Bootleg" 2016 Blind Lemon Records, is a low tech high energy official bootleg recording of the Dave Goodman Band featuring Steve Baker and Oliver Spanuth. Brilliantly played, it captures the essence of this band on a great night.
"Letter Of The Law" 2016 Wonderland Records, in contrast is a highly produced, polished instrumental album intended for film and soundtrack which features Goodman on a wide array of instruments. "Rensow," a collection of new songs and a mix of acoustic and electric instruments will be released in mid 2017.
Goodman is a true multi-talent. As a guitarist, singer, composer and producer, his work is consistently characterized by both stylistic diversity and a remarkable level of artistic output. Whether solo, in duo, or with the Dave Goodman Band, his live shows are always high energy, and often both extremely funny and deeply moving. His lengthy and varied experience in a wide range of musical styles, developed through his many travels, has translated into a huge repertoire of original songs based on real life situations, which lets him take his audience through a whole gamut of emotions while always leaving space for his infectious spontaneity. Whether sensitive ballads or kick-ass rock’n‘roll, Dave Goodman’s virtuoso guitar work and deeply personal vocals never fail to touch the hearts of the listeners.