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Folk Rock Front Lines: Good Old War Brings Harmony To Yahoo!

Tiffany Lee
The New Now

Fitting for the background of a Super 8 home movie or the soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film, Philadelphia-bred indie band Good Old War has such silky three-part harmonies you'd think their scraggly beards gave them vocal powers like a trio of biblical Samsons (but please, no one try to mythbust this). The band was founded by lead vocalist Keith Goodwin and drummer Tim Arnold and rounded out the group with guitarist Daniel Schwartz. Like how *NSYNC is an acronym made up of the last letters of the former boy band members' first names, Good Old War is derived from the members' last names: 'Good' for Goodwin, 'Old' for Arnold, and 'War' for Schwartz.

The band began after Goodwin's band Days Away, which he founded in eighth grade with Arnold joining in college, came to an end of after over ten years of sonic operation. But having already booked a tour with high school bud Anthony Green, the pop-driven Goodwin and Arnold brought on Schwartz's strong alt-country style and set out to create a new project whilst on the road. Apparently pop + alt-country = folk rock reminiscent of its 1960s heyday—imagine young Crosby, Stills & Nash train-hopping with Pro-Tools—and in 2008 Good Old War was born. They are currently on tour with Dr. Dog, followed by Joshua Radin and Dashboard Confessional with some off-tour shows peppered here and there.

Good Old War stopped by Yahoo! recently to play some songs off their self-titled sophomore release and the performance was no doubt impressive—the guy off-camera yelling 'Nice!,' 'Awesome!' and 'Sick guys!' isn't exaggerating. In a world of auto-tune, it's hard to come across a group unafraid to harmonize that beautifully without help of studio or stage sound equipment. A live acoustic set is really the best way to experience Good Old War's music and I can't help but love Goodwin's adorably awkward busker dancing.

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