Kristen Goodman will release her debut EP album “I’m Ready…” on Friday, Dec. 1, at the Corner Gates on Cherokee Street. Below, check out our Q-and-A with her.
What inspires/influences your music?
I’m inspired by elements of all genres of music. I grew up on jazz, funk, yacht rock, and Broadway. I came of age with female folk/rock artists like The Indigo Girls, kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, Sarah McLachlan, and Sheryl Crow. I admire singer/songwriters like Carole King, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell. I love artists who incorporate sounds from all over the world like Sting and Paul Simon. I’ve even learned to love some of the old school country music like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson. The more current artists who have inspired me recently are Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Emily King, and Margo Price.
Tell me about your upcoming album.
My upcoming album is called “I’m Ready…” and it is my debut EP album. It features songs I have written over the last 15+ years, and I’m proud to finally be releasing this work. Although music has always been an important element of my life, I’ve considered it just a hobby until this past year. Now I’m focused more on finding my identity as an artist and on pursuing a career as a working musician. The title “I’m Ready…” is a nod to a lyric in one of my songs, “Let It Enter In,” and it signifies my state of mind as I leap into this next stage of my life. I recorded the songs on my debut album with my sister, Sarah Goodman, who is a sound engineer and musician in Chicago. I am grateful to her for all the work she put into making this EP album a reality.
Do you have any other albums? If so, how has your music evolved?
This will be my first album, but I’m well on my way to my next one. It took me nearly two decades to compile the songs that appear on my debut EP album. Now that I’m focusing more directly on music, I’ve made more time for writing and letting my creativity flow. I’ve already written four new songs that will be featured on my next album. As I’ve carved out more time to be creative, I have found that my songs are evolving into a style that could be considered uniquely my own. For a long time, even though I was confident in my singing voice, I didn’t necessarily consider myself to be an artist. Yet recently, I’m embracing my creative side, and I’m discovering that I have a lot to say musically. I can’t wait to get back into the studio!
Why did you become a musician?
I grew up in a very musical family, so music has always been an important part of my life. I sang in choir and participated in theatre all throughout school. One of my first starring roles was in first grade when I played “Poor Old Molar” in the school play about dental hygiene. Some of my favorite iconic roles included Snoopy, Dorothy, and Annie Oakley. I took piano lessons for ten years when I was a kid, and I participated in statewide vocal competitions and city choirs. When I moved to St. Louis in 2001, I taught myself how to play the guitar. I began playing at open mic nights and small gigs around town. I sang with a dance cover band for six years, and I formed an acoustic trio called the KGB (Kristen Goodman Band) that played around town for a couple years. Despite the fact that music has always been something I love to do, I’ve always considered it a side thing until now. In 2015, I opened a bar and music venue called Lilly’s – Music & Social House. Lilly’s was only open for a year, but we packed that time full of happy memories and great music. After it closed, I found myself back to the drawing board for what I was going to do with my career. As I thought about the things that truly make me happy, I couldn’t deny any longer that being a musician and an artist was part of my path. Some of my happiest moments throughout my entire life have been on stage – singing and making music with other talented and amazing people. I guess I didn’t really decide to BECOME a musician, but I decided to finally recognize that I’ve BEEN a musician my whole life. It’s time pursue my true calling. I’m ready. (See what I did there?) 😉
How do you reach the LGBT community through your music?
The foundation of my audience is comprised of friends and fans from the LGBTQ community. I think I’ve worked or performed at just about every LGBTQ establishment in St. Louis over the last 15+ years in some capacity. I love my community, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without a core group of loyal supporters who have followed me from my early days of variety shows at Novak’s to cabaret nights at Meyer’s Grove and beyond. Today, I play two monthly gigs with my women’s folk rock tribute band, kg lang, at Just John and Bar: PM (the first Wednesday and last Sunday of the month respectively). I also produce events that are geared for the queer community like LEZ DANCE, the Lucky 11 Women’s Dances, and The Big Gay* Soirée. My success as a musician and event producer is directly tied to the St. Louis LGBTQ people. I am grateful for the love that has been shown to me by my community. As my reach expands, I hope to continue to show my love for this community by being OUT, being proud, and being an example of an entertainer who is living authentically.
What’s the best part about playing in StL?
St. Louis has so much talent! Over the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of performing with some incredible musicians and entertainers who continue to inspire me to push myself to the next level. But these talented people would just be jamming out in their living rooms and rehearsal spaces if it weren’t for the FANS! St. Louis has a reputation for having the greatest fans in baseball, but I believe the St. Louis music fans are just as awesome, if not more so. We have iconic and historic music venues; we have countless bars and clubs with live music nightly; and we have world class music institutions. None of this would be possible without the fans. Whether I play to a room of just a few or a few hundred, that magical feeling I get on stage is because of the people experiencing the music with me… it’s because of the people who continue to come out to support live music night after night, week after week, year after year. St. Louis is truly an amazing music town. Thank you to the fans!!!
Where can we see you perform in the next few months?
My big CD Release Celebration will take place on Friday, December 1st at the Corner Gates on Cherokee! You’re all invited! I’m so excited! Tickets at https://kristengoodmancdrelease.eventbrite.com. This event will feature performances from kg lang (my women’s folk rock tribute band with Cindy Minnis and Laura McMurray), from Ghost Light (my acoustic string trio with Andy Hainz and Abbie Steiling), and other special guests. This is one of the biggest nights of my music career, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!
On Wednesday, November 15th, Celia and I will be hosting our monthly sing-along event, Everyday People, at HandleBar. This relaxed and fun evening is open to everyone who wants to spread some love through music. Lyrics are provided. 6-8pm
On Sunday, November 26th, kg lang will be playing our monthly show at Bar:PM from 5-8pm, and then again on Wednesday, December 6th at Just John from 7-10pm.
I also have some private parties and holiday events on my schedule. I still have openings, though! Hit me up if you’d like some music at your house party or event: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks again to all of the friends and fans who have supported me all these years. I’m ready to embrace my identity as an artist. I’m ready to showcase my music. I’m ready to share my talents with the world. I’m Ready.