Creativity is often described as an itch that must be scratched, and the relief afterwards yields art.
Lead singer for The Savage Radley, Shaina Goodman, says writing music is a need inseparable from the rest of her life. Goodman grew up in far-western Kentucky near the Mississippi River.
She has been writing since before she knew she was writing. But she doesn’t necessarily see it as a God-given gift. And, for her, the process of creation isn’t so linear.
Goodman doesn’t sweat it if she can’t quite scratch the itch, so to speak. She says some of the songs on The Savage Radley’s debut record, Kudzu, were written in some form years ago--long before the band even formed. “If it’s meant to come back to you, it will,” she says. “Don’t ever look at something as not finished.”
Goodman first heard the power of a voice in church, where she says she was exposed to some of the best songwriters in the world. But when she took music lessons as a child, she was ultimately unsatisfied with the direction her teacher wanted her to take with her voice, and quit them. But, it wasn’t all bad.
“I did take a lot of good things from that, like breathing exercises and stuff,” she admits. “But it was very short lived, and I quickly tried to forget everything that I was taught there,” said Goodman
The music on Kudzu is so familiar at this point that Goodman doesn’t really have a favorite song from it. She says she may not connect with a song she’s written until she’s performing it. But the song she was most excited about while making the album is “Slough Water.” Slough water is essentially backwater, and for Goodman, who loves the Mississippi River, it doesn’t carry the negative connotation that it does for other people.
Goodman says, “What is most strong is my call to a particular place, and that’d be on the banks of the Mississippi”
She says, like slough water, her music has spilled out of her connection to the river and to the South as a whole.
The Savage Radley’s album, Kudzu, will be released Friday, June 30. The music was written and recorded in western Kentucky, which inspired it. See more about the band.