It’s too early to call Goodnight Texas a historic band, but it has a sound that goes way back.
What started as a duo of Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf, the four-piece is influenced by folklorist Alan Lomax’s collection Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. And while the first folk artist which might come to mind is Woody Guthrie, Goodnight Texas is inspired by the earliest American sounds, such as those from the Appalachian Mountains and the cotton fields worked by slaves on the Mississippi Delta.
Vinocur and Wolf trade off on guitar, baritone guitar, banjo and mandolin, singing harmonies to spacious and often dark songs with a traditional bent.
“We do most of our writing separately,” said Vinocur, who lives in San Francisco while Wolf is in New York. “I produce his and he produces mine. It came together really well, sort of by accident.”
He said the songwriters were not aware they sang in the same pitch until they began serious collaboration.
We just jumped to the right place, kind of easily,” he said. “We didn’t realize it at first that we were in the same kind of area. … We want this band to be loud and heavy and also be very quiet and smart and pretty and moments that are harmony laden and melodic.”
They began working on songs in 2008 and in 2010 went on tour as P. Wolf and Avi, releasing a record, “Coattails.” The duo around that time debuted at the Crystal Bay Casino Red Room. It returns Wednesday to the Crown Room with a rhythm section – Jonathan Krichner plays bass, Andrew Laubacher drums – to open for Rusted Root. The two bands are on a three-week tour in the West. Goodnight Texas has released a debut record, “A Long Life of Living,” which touches on styles of the Byrds, M Ward and acoustic Neil Young.
“The genre (of Rusted Root) is definitely different, but there are elements of folk, too,” Vinocur said. “I think we are like-minded. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens.”
It just might be a historic night.
Opener: Goodnight Texas
Headliner: Rusted Root
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 day of show