The same way a good song gets stuck in a listener’s head, sometimes a song sticks with a songwriter long after it’s written and begs to be released. With his new single, “Oh What a Pitiful Shame,” Michael Monroe Goodman proves that’s exactly the case.
Having written the song as a teenager, Goodman was struck by the story and old school vibe he found on an old lyric sheet, so struck, in fact, that he took the song into the studio and is allowing it to serve as his current single at Texas radio, as well as track number three on his new album, When the Rain Came.
We chatted with Goodman about returning to releasing music after a hiatus, his release strategy, working with legendary producer Pete Anderson and more!
Pro Country: Your newest stretch of singles are your first releases since your 2015 album, The Flag, The Bible & Bill Monroe. As you were preparing to release this batch of singles, what was your level of anticipation leading up to the releases and getting new music out into the world again?
Michael Monroe Goodman: Mostly I was just very excited to get new music out there. I went through some transitions with moving to the West Coast and staying busy with the other artistic avenues for a couple years and didn’t realize how badly I needed to get a new album out for myself and for my fans. I feel that my new releases are better than ever, and maybe the break contributed to that.
PC: Why did you feel that your new single, “Oh What a Pitiful Shame,” was the right follow up to your last single, “You’ve Got to Honky Tonk”?
MMG: “You got to Honky Tonk” was very much pushing the rockin’ country envelope, and I wanted to have the pendulum swing back toward a single that is way more In line with my overall traditional sound. Plus “Oh What a Pitiful shame” just has that Hank feel that I love so much.
PC: You began writing “Oh What a Pitiful Shame” as a teenager, but finished it just a few years ago. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the song and what it was about it that stuck with you for so long?
MMG: I’m pretty sure when I wrote it as a teen, it was from a place of being a teenager who never got the girl he wanted while watching her with the wrong guys, and when I found this lyric sheet many years later, I thought there was a very authentic story in there with a very cool old school vibe. So I felt very inspired to tweak it and give it new life.
PC: Legendary producer Pete Anderson is serving as a co-producer for you. What is it like for you to work and collaborate with someone who has achieved his level of success and knowledge?
MMG: It was a dream come true to get to swap ideas and learn from someone I greatly admired as far as a guitar player and a producer, and hearing his approaches and how they meshed with my vision was a great creative experience. It was also nice just getting his blessing on what I was doing.
PC: You released your newest album, When the Rain Came, a few weeks ago. What can listeners expect heading into the album?
MMG: Well I released a few singles that were very diverse, and the rest of the songs on the album are equally as unique, but yet cohesive as an overall sound from my songwriting approach. Listeners can expect to hear some songs that make them laugh a little and feel a lot. I think some of the best songs on the album have been saved for the release, and the singles leading up were just a ramp up to get even deeper in country music stories with the whole album.
PC: With each song you’re releasing from When the Rain Came, you are creating one single cinematic story. Can you talk about making that decision and why it was important to you to have the songs intertwined in that way?
MMG: With social media and everything nowadays, it’s clear you need to give your audience more ways to enjoy your music, and one of the ways I would like to do that is by making a bunch of scenic music videos and embed a storyline within them, almost like a mini movie. Dwight Yoakam did a lot of this in his music videos, and it inspired me to want to do something similar.
PC: You have a pretty full show schedule set for the rest of the year and going into 2022. How excited are you to get back on the road again and be back in a live music setting?
MMG: I’m excited to get on the road and play new places and meet new fans. I am excited for those people who haven’t been seeing live music, as for me, I never stopped. I found places throughout the states that were having live music and bucking the system, and I felt it was important to keep at it and not put my live performances or my life on hold.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of 2021?
MMG: I just plan on playing some shows and pushing myself to start writing and scheming for the next big thing. I am so pleased with where this album ended up, and it’s invigorated me to see where I want to go with my next album project. I have a couple concept ideas, and maybe the next album will be one of them.
*”Oh What a Pitiful Shame” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*