It doesn't get much better than the feisty and soulful Louisiana-based blues/rock band The Good Dudes, an 8-piece outfit that's ready to take you back in time with their latest EP, Where Are You Going?
The Louisiana-bred blues-rock back comprises eight members who grew up surrounded by entertainment and "letting the good times roll." The Good Dudes made waves with their full-length debut EP in 2019, prompting them to play Festival International de Louisiane, tour the southeast, and continuously expand their devoted fanbase.
This time around, The Good Dudes explore their old-school roots in a groovy, funky, and soulful new EP entitled Where Are You Going?, recorded, produced, and mixed at Lightwave Studios in Maurice, LA, by Charlie Gathe.
The new EP kicks off with the vibrant intro and title track, "Where Are You Going?" This toe-tapper of a tune leaps through the speakers with incredible passion and energy as The Good Dudes lays the foundation and sets the tone for this passionate and punchy project. The many chant-worthy and sing-along lyrics alongside the danceable instrumentals open the new EP with a bang.
Onto track number two, "Taste of Me," The Good Dudes travel into a more funky and groovy 70s approach with their brass-heavy instrumentals, spirited guitars, and the lead vocalist's raspy yet charming performance. This lustful and sensual song hits in all the right places, and The Good Dudes perfectly showcase their ability to capture the listener's attention with an undeniable groove and hot and heavy lyrical themes.
Track number three and the EP's halfway point, "Madeline," jumps up the party, which launches through the speakers with thrilling electric guitar riffs right off the bat. This song blends the ferocious blues/rock of the 60s with a unique surf-rock feel bound to get you moving and grooving. The blazing saxophone solo is reminiscent of the late Clarence Clemons, and The Good Dudes do one hell of a job, leaving us with a thrill and chill.
Taking things down a notch is track number four, "Try Not to Hurt Me," where the lead vocalist's raspy and melodic vocalist burst through the speakers in a matter of seconds. The slow, sensual, and emotional instrumentals bring the listener deep into the sorrows of turbulent love, navigating through those situations in whatever way possible. It's a dynamic and gripping 6-minute tune that perfectly showcases the peaks and profound valleys of falling in love.
Landing on the last track of the EP, "I Wouldn't Treat a Dog," The Good Dudes bless us with their tightly-knit instrumentals and the lead vocalist's larger-than-life presence. This slow-burn tune brings all the soul and passion we know and love from The Good Dudes with an angsty and primal twist that discusses the lows of love. Not only is this a stellar way to close the project, but it prompts the listener to do some major reflecting on what and who is actually treating them right.
Feasting your ears on the blues/rock tunes of The Good Dudes is always a treat. Their recent EP, Where Are You Going? is a perfect representation of the band's kickass sound that's praised far and wide. Find The Good Dudes' new EP, Where Are you Going? on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, The Good Dudes. Congratulations on releasing your new 5-track EP, Where Are You Going? Did anything or anyone inspires your group to create this soulful and bluesy new project?
Thanks a ton! A lot of inspiration certainly stemmed from frustration from the years of not being able to play live, which is really what we love to do. Ain't nothing better than the blues for those emotions. Some of the songs on the EP, like 'Where Are you going?', 'Madeline' and 'Try Not to Hurt Me' have been in the live set for a few years now, and we decided to juice them up and record them. Myles' influences vocally (Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, Marc Broussard) lend themselves to this more raw style as well. We're huge fans as a band of the older blues/soul stuff as well, so covering Bobby Bland's 'I Wouldn't Treat a Dog' was a highlight. Originally the EP was going to be just those four songs, and once we wrapped up for the day, Myles said, "let's try this one too" - and we worked our parts out for 'Taste of Me', and it was recorded within the hour.
What does your band's typical creative process look like between the eight of you? What was that process like for the EP, Where Are you Going?
Typically Myles will have a solid idea of what he hears for the song, so he'll bring at least a rough draft of lyrics/music arrangement. We've all got different strengths/influences, so as we work out the pieces, it's interesting to see how it takes shape and comes together. Once we've got a good idea of vocal melodies and the arrangement, our horn players step in and do their thing. It usually all starts with a groove, and we'll build it out once it feels good; that's what's most important for us to be excited about a song. The process for this EP was a bit different since we've been playing these songs live for some time now, and we already had solid ideas for the arrangements on all of them. We called up Charlie Gathe (producer) and set aside a day to record the whole EP, went in and live-tracked all the music together, cut the vocals on top, and that was that. There are a few extra overlays musically, but the majority of what you hear on the EP is single takes of each song. 'Try Not to Hurt Me' was actually the first take we did - thankfully, it was killer since that one's over six minutes long.
Is there a song from Where Are you Going? that your group is most proud of? What makes that song so important to you?
'Taste of Me' is definitely the stand out for us. For one, it seems to be the turning point of live performances; everyone's energy matches the band's, and the room just ignites. Secondly, it was written with much New Orleans influence, from where we acquire a lot of inspiration due to our proximity. It's especially unique from the others because it was tracked with only having parts worked out in ~20 minutes, live in the studio. So what you are hearing is a raw combination of vibe and feel. It's easily the newest of the five on the album and also marks an exciting turn for us to lean more into that style moving forward. That feel has also rubbed off onto the way we play songs from our first record, 'Ready for It,' but we're excited to dive into writing more that matches the energy of our live performances.
Could you break down the main themes of your EP, Where Are you Going? What stories or concepts did you want to showcase in this project?
The idea for this record was to capture the essence of Blues music that we collectively admire and very much respect; of course, our own expression of it. For the most part, we were all introduced to blues at a young age, and while growing up in the south, one quickly learns its history and heritage from the hands as well as words of local blues musicians. To pay homage, writing the songs for this record started out with the familiar 12-bar format, but from there, I (Myles) wanted to focus on expressing my three favorite styles of blues song:
1. A 'Swinging-Playful' Blues ('Where Are You Going")
2. A 'Rock'n'Roll Story Telling' Blues ("Madeline")
3. A 'Slow&Painful' Blues ("Try Not To Hurt Me")
Matched with the Bobby "Blue" Bland cover "I Wouldn't Treat A Dog" and "Taste of Me", we are happy with the final project having a combination of styles and influences that really resonate with us as a whole. Each song individually has its own bite-sized taste of us.
What do you hope the listener takes away from a soulful and exciting project like Where Are you Going? What do you hope they experience?
Mainly to make the listener feel like they're at a live Good Dudes concert. All of what was tracked is us playing those songs together in the studio, and they've evolved even since we recorded them. Our shows are loud, rockin', and full of energy, and I think the recordings do a good job of showcasing that aspect of the band. With the first release, we were really focused on crafting great songs with sophisticated instrumentation and epic moments - we pulled out all the stops with strings, keys, a choir, and the works. With this release, we wanted to go back to our roots and go a little more old school with the recording method, cutting the whole thing live. It's a bit simpler in the instrumentation because it features only the band, but there are no tricks - just blues, soul, and rock and roll.