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Gooding’s eclectic style hits Santa Fe

Group goes through the ups and downs of playing in New Mexico

SANTA FE — On Friday night, a screen flashed behind Gooding accompanying his funky guitar riffs with footage of bugs crawling back and forth, bobbing ostrich heads and grape Kool–Aid swirling in a glass pitcher. Occasionally, Gooding stood in front of the projector, placing his own silhouette on the screen.

At one point, he left an electric guitar strapped to his neck while he played his classical guitar on its stand. Rainbow speckles from a huge disco ball moved across the wood dance floor and up the walls of the Paramount Lounge & Night Club.

A lady in the audience with short hair and big hoop earrings swirled in circles and clicked her three-inch heels on the floor. Her body moved around another man who had dreadlocks, was dressed in black and appeared to be doing Tai Chi.

Gooding said he would have liked a bigger crowd on Friday night, but was happy to hear that three people came from Boulder, Colo., to see his show.

He and his band played at Sprockets Pub in Albuquerque in October and Gooding said very few people showed up at the bar.

“The PA was shitty,” he said. “It was awful.”

He said his favorite New Mexico show was at Eske’s Brewpub and Eatery in Taos in October. He was worried about the small size of the restaurant and that there wasn’t even enough room to put up the screen, though it turned out to be a high energy show.

“The minute we started, all the hippies jumped up,” he said.

Gooding said he had some input on the more political “Factory Blue” footage that played through the second half of the show.

Gooding is an animal activist, but said he doesn’t want his politics to get in the way of his music.

“If it’s something you believe in, then it shows up in your music whether you like it or not,” he said.

Gooding said one of his earliest musical memories was going to a Kiss concert when he was 4 years old. When he was 9, he said he fell asleep listening to the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and had a dream that he fell in love with vocalist Bonnie Tyler.

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Though Gooding has had some wild dreams, he said he tries his hardest to stay focused on stage.

“Whether people clap or not, I’m just trying to play with the guys and stay with the music,” he said.

Gooding has been with his six-string bassist, Shawn Kail, since last summer and met his drummer, Jesse Reichenberger, in Wichita, Kans., in seventh grade. Gooding and Reichenberger won a talent show in which they called themselves The Tremendous Two.

“I was a dork,” he said.

After last fall’s tour, Gooding said he took the holidays off to write new music that he plans to record with the band and release in the fall. Gooding recently sold about five songs to MTV’s “Real World/ Road Rules: Extreme Challenge” and said snippets of it can be heard in about every two shows. He added that he only made a dollar from selling the music but will get some royalties.

Kendra Howard-Espinoza, the lady who clicked her heels throughout Gooding’s show, turned out to be one of the three people who came from Boulder for the concert. She is a dance instructor and said she has been using Gooding’s music in her classes.

“Well I drove all the way from Boulder, Colorado, to see Gooding because I have 3X and it is so amazing,” she said. “I think Gooding is absolutely phenomenal.”


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