When Michael Goodwin is performing, he feels totally himself.
“I love it. I love making music,” he said.
Goodwin, a Concord native and former Concord-Carlisle High School teacher known for his innovative and highly-regarded “Rivers and Revolutions” program, said he pursued music full-time after graduation from Amherst. But then his band, Goodfoot, broke up, and he got into teaching, a profession he referred to as a “different kind of creative outlet.”
He’d hoped to get back into music, but “the realities of life were what they were.”
Until last fall, that is. Goodwin said he made the decision that if he didn’t “give it a shot right now, it’s never going to happen.”
Goodwin said playing now, as opposed to when he was younger, has been a fundamentally different experience. When you’re young, he said, you want to go out and conquer the world.
But now it’s just about the music, he said.
That authenticity has bled into his music and shows, which, for him, are about “authentic experiences.” He said he wants his audiences to be “injected with joy.”
That joy – with both musicians and those in attendance – was evident at a recent show at Nosh by Concord Market.
Goodwin worked the crowd like a pro. Everyone in attendance seemed impressed with his music, which fits into a variety of styles befitting his influences – from the indie folk band Bon Iver to The Police to Living Colour.
Scott Mattison, a friend of Goodwin’s who said he’s putting together a documentary about Michael’s return to music, said it takes “guts” to do this and described his friend’s music as a “spider-web of mini-stories.”
Ricky Schwartz, a senior at Berklee College of Music who runs sound for Goodwin and also played with them the night this reporter was in attendance, called Goodwin’s music “unique.”
Jason Fletcher, a member of Goodwin and one of Goodwin’s former students, called the music a “fantastic, very visceral experience,” noting that everything about it is “intentional.”
He also offered particular praise for Nosh and its atmosphere, which offers “a great opportunity” for people in Concord to see live shows.
Goodwin said much of the same, calling Nosh “awesome” and said Marisa Limoli, the manager, is “building something really special there.”
Limoli said she wants Nosh to be a place where people can relax.
“I want you to feel like you’re at home,” she said, adding that residents should come and enjoy food and music, including Goodwin’s.
Goodwin said that, whether at Nosh or elsewhere, his band has developed a following, particularly in Concord. He said people feel like they’re a part of something.
In addition to Goodwin, he said he’s also working on an album with Peet Maclean, whom his website calls a “long-time accomplice.”
“It’s been really fun to have these two projects evolve,” Goodwin said.
He said he hopes his decision to be“front and center” at age 46 inspires others to pursue their own dreams and passions.
In about six months or so, it will have been a year since Goodwin decided to make music his life—and whether he’d be able to stick with it.
He said he’s made his choice.
“When I get to the year mark, I’m going to keep going,” he said, adding that the “possibilities are endless.
“I’d love to keep doing this for another few decades, if not more,” he said. More information about Michael Goodwin and his music, in addition to upcoming shows, can be found at www.goodwintunes.com.