Goody Blick & The Country Kind – Hailing from the state of cornfusion
“Say we’re from Ballard, not Seattle.” These are the first words spoken by Goody Blick and Anne Marie Ruljancich as we sit down at the Crocodile Cafe for an interview. Ballard is a sleepy Seattle neighborhood that’s home to a large contingent of aging Scandinavians and the roots-friendly music rooms at the Backstage and the Tractor Tavern. However, as I pointed out, Ballard is not the home of Goody Blick or any of her Country Kind. “True,” Blick replies, “but we do practice there.” Sure then, Ballard it is.
I can easily forgive them for wanting to stay away from Seattle’s residual grunge-town expectations, but on this night a large crowd has come into the heart of downtown to see Goody Blick & the Country Kind headline a slate of country-edged rock bands. Not long ago, this kind of bill would have been hard to imagine in Seattle. “We started three years ago, before this scene even existed,” Ruljancich tells me as we watch people paying their covers and entering the bar for a night that will ring throughout with steel guitar, fiddle and mandolin.
Joining Blick (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and Ruljancich (violin, vocals) in the lineup are Jim Roth (lead guitar, pedal steel), Tim Fekete (bass), and Kevin “Kubby” White (drums). Armed with a full set of strong songs, a sweet and versatile sound, a growing regional buzz, and an increasing charm and confidence onstage, Goody Blick & the Country Kind will release self-titled disc in March on their own label, Cornfusion Records. With 14 songs spanning 50 minutes, this is an ambitious debut. Blick and Ruljancich explain that the band took their favorite songs from two previous full-length tapes, added in the best of their new material, and re-recorded the whole lot. “For us, the feels like a ‘Best of’ collection,” Ruljancich says.
Not wanting to label their music in any way, God forbid, I asked them what kind of music they play. Not an easy question. Blick says she comes to the band by way of country music, so that’s a start. But Roth comes at it from punk, Ruljancich from classical, White from Brit-pop, and Fekete from Metal. Interesting, but really not an answer, so I press again by threatening to call them a “No Depression” band. After a pause, Blick says, “It’s Cornfusion music.” Perhaps this clear-as-mud explanation accounts for the wide-ranging sound of their original songs and the sometimes cornfusing selection of covers, which include “Angel of the Morning”, “Baby Hold on to Me”, “Fernando”, and “Folsom Prison Blues.”
On the disc, the band’s mix of vocals, instrumentation, and tempo make Goody Blick & the Country Kind a power-pop combo on one track, a down-home country band on the next, and an in-your-face guitar outfit on the next. Through it all, they manage to deliver consistently charming performances. After the record is released, they hope to hit the road and help show the world what the Ballard sound is all about.