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Published: 2001/09/19
by Pat Buzby

Bus Stop – Chris Goddard

self-released
Chris Goddard, based in St. Louis, delivers a fine modern singer-songwriter
effort with this nine-song CD. The songs are consistently memorable, and the
production and performances are impressive.
The intriguing question, though, is where someone like Goddard fits in
today’s scene. Had he come up in the 70’s, my guess is that he would have
been a minor but noted major-label artist. This is not due to any lack of
quality, but rather because, although his singing sometimes resembles Kenny
Loggins or Dan Fogelberg, his songs (at least, the uptempo ones) have enough
harmonic and lyrical twists to make him a dubious candidate for their
easy-listening mantle. (At least, I don’t know if Fogelberg ever tossed off
any lines such as "We’ve been sending out invitations competing with
imitations/Chat rooms chastise Walden’s simplicity," or "Jeremiah’s jumpin’
at the jubilee/And Jane has got this thing about the number three") At the
same time, Goddard is too sweet and straightforward to stand easily
alongside Neil Young or Robert Hunter, say.
This being the ’00s, Goddard should find a fairly comfortable home
with the jamband niche. Many of the songs havesophisticated
chords reminiscent of DMB and recent Van Morrison, and
Goddard’s lyrics thoughtfully espouse the neo-hippie values of positivity
and service. It may seem a bit hokey for him to end one song with the
repeated line "Expect a miracle," but I forgave this upon reading that this
was the name of a foundation where he worked. And he shows enough
cleverness that I almost believed that the sentimental closer opened with
what seemed like a classic line, "If I had the key to the gates of the
parking lot, I would give it to you." (Turned out to be "Parthenon" when I
consulted the booklet, but that’s still not too bad.)
Here’s hoping Goddard continues to build on this enjoyable effort. If
Keller Williams can arouse enough passion for his fans to send angry e-mails
about ambivalent reviews, Goddard deserves a place on the jamband scene.

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