The Good Brothers

The Good Brothers. Country group based in Richmond Hill, near Toronto. It was formed in 1969 as a country-folk group, James and the Good Brothers, by the guitarist James Ackroyd and the twins Bruce and Brian Good (autoharpist and guitarist respectively, b Toronto 27 Jan 1946). In 1970 the trio travelled across Canada with the Festival Express and recorded its first LP in San Francisco. By 1972, Larry Good (banjo player, b Newmarket, Ont, 25 Jan 1952) had taken Ackroyd's place. The three brothers made their debut together that year at the Riverboat and continued together, with a backing musicians, until Larry's departure in 1991. His place was taken by Bruce's son Travis (b Richmond Hill 10 Apr 1968) who had previously served as the band's lead guitarist. The brothers' sidemen over the years also have included the fiddlers John (J.P.) Allen and Carl Keys and the guitarists Laurice Milton 'Red' Shea, Danny McBride, and Pat Rush.

Working at first as a bluegrass-based group, the 'Goods' broadened their music to include, and soon be taken over by, a country-rock style that was in truth ahead of its time and left them caught between two audiences. In 1976 they nevertheless won a Big Country award for outstanding group performance and in 1977 they received the first of eight consecutive Juno awards as country group of the year, reflecting in part the success of such songs as 'That's the Kind of Man I Am' and 'Midnight Flight' (1976), 'Homemade Wine' (1977), 'Truck Driver's Girl' (1978), and 'Some Kind of Woman' (1979) for RCA, and 'Brown Eyed Girl' (1980-1) and 'Summertime' (1982) for Solid Gold. Several hits followed for Savannah: 'Better Off Alone' (1987), 'Gone So Long' and 'You Won't Fool This Fool' (1988), 'Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young' and 'She Told Me So' (1990), and 'We Don't Always See Eye to Eye' (1991). The double LP The Good Brothers Live sold more than 50,000 copies in Canada.

The Goods, known for their boisterous live performances, moved from Toronto-area bars and high schools to a national concert circuit that included, in the late 1970s, Massey Hall, the NAC, and Hamilton Place. For the most part, however, they have performed in clubs and community centres, and at festivals and fairs, across Canada, averaging 150 dates a year. The brothers appeared at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1976, toured in the USA ca 1980 with Gordon Lightfoot, and returned thereafter for occasional appearances in New York (eg, at the Lone Star Café, in the early 1980s) and Nashville. They performed in 1985 in Czechoslovakia and had made four other tours in Europe by 1991, enjoying particular success in Holland.