Features, Print September 16, 2021

Always Moving: Graham Good & The Painters Bring the Optimism

by Laura Giagos

“Keep believing in yourself. Keep believing in your dreams and the value you bring to the world,” Graham Good tells BandWagon. Good is the frontman of the Northern Colorado pop folk-rock outfit Graham Good & The Painters, and he delivers that statement with the well known blanket optimism he has towards life. This optimism has become a staple in his music and he sees spreading that positivity a part of his musical journey. “Just know there’s so much good you have to offer every second of the day,” Good says. “To spend that time thinking you’re not good enough, you’re underdelivering on what you’re capable of providing.”

The winner of the 2021 BandWagon Battle of the Bands, Good says he’s honored to have won the $1,000 grand prize and is putting the money away to help buy a tour van. But he also acknowledges the difficult circumstances of having a battle of the bands during the covid pandemic. “It was such a great night of music. Everyone brought their A game,” says Good of the March, 2021 event. “It was funny because the first round happened over a year ago and we had a completely different line up. But we put a lot of work into our set so it was seamless in transitions and full of action.”

Graham Good & The Painters – All photos by Charla Harvey

It’s true, the first round of the 2020/2021 battle of the bands happened almost a full year prior to the final round. In that time The Painters went through an almost complete line-up change as well as carefully watching the music industry struggle to adapt to life during a pandemic. But unlike so many bands during the pandemic, Graham Good & The Painters still found a way to stay busy. “Fortunately during the first shutdown we still stayed active somehow. We had a lot of opportunities for live streaming events and outdoor, socially distant shows. We even played Red Rocks, back to back, sold-out limited capacity nights,” says Good. “There were a couple of months where we were dead in the water. But eventually we knew we were keeping our circle closed and we were in each other’s circles so when rehearsals started again we were like cool, we trust each other.”

Good credits attending an O.A.R. show at Red Rocks during his senior year of high school for inspiring him to take up music and form a band. “I started off playing acoustic guitar and I’ve always liked moving fast. I have restless leg syndrome so I’m always moving. How can I keep the ball rolling? That energy manifests itself into my music,” says Good.

Graham Good & The Painters – all photos by Charla Harvey

After Good earned a marketing degree from Colorado State University, The Painters went through some member changes before landing the current line up which includes students of the prestigious University of Northern Colorado music program. “I feel so lucky and blessed to have each one of The Painters be a part of my musical vision,” says Good. “I got into it as a self taught musician with a marketing degree, playing with people who are miles ahead of me. But what I’m able to do is the branding and the vision and the hustle. It’s a very symbiotic relationship because I take care of the business side. My job is to put their otherworldly talents in front of as many people as I can.”

With their live set locked down, the band’s new focus was the release of their first full length album, something Good admits is long overdue. “Getting good at being a recording artist is a whole different level. Our first EP was a big trial that I feel we overpaid for and our second EP we self-produced. For our full-length record we met in the middle: we did some of the work ourselves and worked with a producer out in Minnesota,” says Good. 

Leading up to the release, Good says he found himself struggling with an unhealthy dose of imposter syndrome and was placing unrealistic expectations on himself and the album. Suddenly, his infectious positivity couldn’t keep up with his own anxiety. “You can’t have expectations; you have to let the music do the work it’s going to do. My brother was telling me, ‘Graham, you’re the good vibes believing-in-good-things-coming guy, and you’re telling me right now that you’re afraid to fail? You tell everyone else in your life to not be afraid to fail, so I think you need to take a bit of your own medicine,’” says Good. This proved to be the motivation he needed to embrace what the universe was telling him.

Looking ahead, Good’s positive outlook is back on top and he’s ready for things to return to normal including their show at the Ogden Theater in Denver, CO on October 9, although he’s aware of how quickly things can change. “I have to be cautious and forward-thinking about how it’s going to affect the game plan, but I’m also confident that we’re a force that’s going to keep doing what we do – and that’s light people up.”

The self-titled full-length album from Graham Good & The Painters is out now. Catch the band live on Saturday, October 9 at the Ogden Theater in Denver with Andy Frasco & The U.N. and look for a nationwide tour announcement and more at grahamgoodmusic.com