Named for a trail running from Texas to Wyoming that was carved out in the 1860s (and became the subject of a classic western ballad), the Goodnight Loving are a band from Milwaukee, WI whose music is a passionate, eclectic combination of folk-rock, country, garage rock, pop punk, indie rock, blues, and seemingly anything else that's honest and strikes their fancy. All the members of the group have roots in Wisconsin, and most came to Milwaukee from smaller towns, drawn by the city's lively music scene. The Goodnight Loving was formed in 2003 as an acoustic side project by guitarists and vocalists Zach Byrne and Andy Kavanaugh, a pair of local musicians whose bands had often worked together. In time, the group grew to an electric five-piece with the addition of Andrew Harris on guitar, bass, and vocals, Colin Swinney on guitar, bass, and vocals, and Austin Dutmer on drums. All the members of the group wrote songs, and all except Dutmer sang; they began working up material and playing out on Milwaukee's flourishing basement gig scene. Kevin Miller of the local Dusty Medical Records label liked the band and offered to help them put out a record. Miller and the Goodnight Loving sent a demo to Greg Cartwright of the Oblivians and Reigning Sound, and he was impressed enough to agree to produce an album for the group. Cartwright came to Milwaukee to record the Goodnight Loving's debut, 2006's Cemetery Trails, and Swinney praised his work, telling a reporter, "he was really professional while still keeping up beer for beer with us." The album fared well with critics, and CMJ Magazine's Kenny Herzog named it the best album of 2006. For their second LP, 2007's Crooked Lake, the Goodnight Loving repaired to a cabin in a rural section of Green Bay, where they produced themselves with help from engineer Justin Perkins. After the Goodnight Loving released a handful of 7" singles for a variety of indie labels, Ryan Adams (a bandmate with Harris and Dutmer in the indie rock act Jaill and no relation to the former Whiskeytown frontman) stepped in to play additional percussion and pedal steel guitar while the band was recording their self-titled third album in early 2008; when Austin Dutmer left the group a few months later, Adams became the group's full-time drummer. The Goodnight Loving was released in Australia and Italy as well as the United States, and the group set out on tour overseas for the first time, faring well in Europe and the Antipodes. In early 2009, Zach Byrne left the Goodnight Loving, and they cut their fourth album, The Goodnight Loving Supper Club, as a quartet; the album was released by the Oregon-based indie Dirtnap Records in the summer of 2010. ~ Mark DemingPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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