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2020 was the first time we heard anything from The Goodwin Brothers. It was in the middle of the pandemic when myself (along with around 50k others according to the statistics on their page) heard the video tribute to their musical heroes, The Osborne Brothers, in the form of a medley of three classic Sonny and Bobby songs. After which, names like Dan Tyminski, Doyle Lawson, Dana Williams (Diamond Rio), Sonya Isaacs, Ronnie Reno, and even The Chief himself (Sonny Osborne) among many others chimed in applauding the brother’s tribute. Since then, we’ve not heard much. But all of that is about to change. To recap, the nucleus of the band is Jonathan & William (Vocals, Guitar & Mandolin) along with Kenneth (Chase) Bush on vocals. They have collectively assembled an all-star cast of musicians that accompany them on their new self-titled album, and in their live shows. 

The brothers comprising the eastern Kentucky-born band are anything but newcomers: Jonathan & William Goodwin began their musical journeys playing together in the early 90s, Jonathan was 8 and William 6.

Prior to that they spent time singing separately for the most part in church, school plays and events. It wasn’t long thereafter the young talents released their first studio album (1999). Jonathan was 14, William 12.  They began singing on the bluegrass festival circuit across the eastern US, a tenure that had refined their sound to a level typically reserved for older players with bigger discographies.

Jonathan has spent the last 2 decades working full-time in the music business as a label owner, head of an artist management company, and as an award-winning producer (1-time Grammy Award nominee & multiple DOVE Award nominee). While most of his work can be heard on the hundreds of Christian recordings he has produced or appeared on, he continues to be a regular “first call” having crossed over into nearly every genre of music and now even film. His productions consist of top-tier musicians in the best studios in the world. Being a vocalist and musician, himself has garnered him one of the most respected song and vocal arrangers in gospel music today. He has served as the keynote speaker for Music-Business conferences across the globe. It started at the age of four when he began playing piano. Within a decade he was an accomplished musician mastering multiple instruments. Jonathan has been a guest musician and/or vocalist sharing the stage with award-winning artists in almost every genre of music.

As we dig more into the history of The Brothers, we find that this isn’t William’s first rodeo either. After serving in the Kentucky National Guard out of high school, he then attended Morehead State University where he became a vocal-major and was an often featured soloist with the MSU Black-Gospel Ensemble (Talk about diversity and being able to adapt). He graduated in 2013 with a degree in Political Science and then began traveling as the lead singer of the, then popular, Christian music band (ASSEMBLED). Their projects were produced by his older brother, Jonathan, and within that ensemble, they garnered multiple awards within the gospel music community. Not sure about their current live shows, but on this project, William is the featured lead singer on 80% of the songs and the shoe certainly fits. He also plays mandolin for the group. 

To round off the three-part harmony, (that seems to be a staple for the brothers) is Kenneth Chase Bush. Not a Goodwin, (yes, I noticed too) however you would never know it listening to their phrasing and harmonies. You would be safe to assume that although Kenneth (goes by Chase) isn’t a blood brother, the three have undoubtedly been singing together for many years. Jonathan says the ‘Goodwin’ boys first met Bush at a church gathering as young teenagers in the small town of Winchester, KY. While he may be new to the bluegrass scene, Bush has certainly had his fair-share of time spent on stage. In 2006 he left the small town of Richmond, KY. and landed on stage in Hollywood as a top contestant on American Idol. Even then he was being prepped for ‘group singing’ as he was paired with Idol’s eventual season 5 winner, Taylor Hicks. Randy Jackson says of Bush, “You remind me of a young Wayne Newton.” In a genre that prides itself in fast picking and hard driving instruments, you better have more than just a typical voice to keep this crowds’ attention without an instrument in hand. Bush certainly fits the bill. The Brother’s take on “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are” (Written by Carl E. Jackson / David William Wills) highlights Bush’s lead vocal as the ‘brothers’ harmonize on the choruses.

Still, despite arriving individually with a pages-long résumé, The Goodwin Bros. is still popularly thought of as their debut — perhaps because everything about it seems to signal a new beginning.

It’s been nearly a decade now since the Grammys  gave the first award in the newly created American Roots categories, which encompass bluegrass, blues, folk, gospel and anything too left-of-center for the country mainstream. Since then, the global bluegrass music community seems to nearly double each year. Today, the music community known as Bluegrass has too many stars, scenes and subcategories to count. Beloved artists like Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle who in another era might have been all but ignored by bluegrass gatekeepers, have found a welcoming community and household-name status. But the music under this umbrella wasn’t always the stuff of major festivals and glitzy awards shows, or of such broad interest to the youth market whose tastes help drive the industry. At the turn of the 21st century, progressive-minded artists in this world were likely to be scattered across granular labels like contemporary Folk or Americana with smaller audiences and fewer entry points for a casual listener. Traditionalists, meanwhile, carried on in the passionate but niche scenes they had occupied for years.

Despite releasing an album in a genre known to spark arguments over what counts as “authentic,” The Goodwin Brothers seem far more concerned with realizing their own vision than hewing to hard-line conventions — like sticking to a strict repertoire of mostly traditional bluegrass songs and standards. The arrival of this project seems to speak all these languages at once:  unafraid to push the boundaries of its primary genre, and packing the musical chops to bring such an eclectic vision to life.


July 29, 2023
9:00 pm


Station Inn
402 12th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37075 United States Google Map
View Venue Website

Doors open at 7pm. There are no advanced ticket sales or reservations, unless specified in the event description.


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