Tim Goodin releases one of Appalachia’s best albums of 2022
Bell County is tucked away between the mountains that welcomed Daniel Boone and the pioneers into the wilderness of Kentucky. Coming from there is a young man who has released one of the best albums of 2022 – Tim Goodin with “Son of Appalachia.”
Tim Goodin is gaining attention with many thanks to the TikTok app, which he started performing songs in February 2021. It would be 10 years earlier when he would start singing in public, with the first time being at a now closed shaved ice place in Middlesboro. “It was around 2011 and my wife, who was my girlfriend then, pushed me to get out and play in public,” Goodin recalled. “I was scared to death. There was about 12 people there, 10 of them family.”
“I’ve always had the dream to perform ever since I was able to pick up a guitar,” according to Tim. “I started TikTok in February of last year. It really gained some traction and what opened my eyes was that I was getting a few thousand views here and there. Then I posted an original, ‘Pills and Poverty,’ and it hit over 100,000 views in like two days. I was like dang; I might be onto something. It lit the fire again because I had put it on the backburner for a few years. That was what got me going again. As momentum continued, I thought maybe there was a chance that I could do this for a living. That’s what I’m chasing.”
Fast forward and Tim Goodin release his five-song ep, “Son of Appalachia.” This week it was recognized by hitting the number 8 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Music Charts, right beside Sturgill Simpson. The title track was one where Goodin showcases where he is proud to be from – Pineville, Kentucky. “That song came about when the tornadoes hit Mayfield and a Facebook post of a guy not from Kentucky talking about the positive traits of the people of Kentucky. I took what he was talking about and interpreted it in my way,” said Goodin.
“Hard Times” started off as a joke, but then gained traction on Tiktok. “I posted it on Tiktok as a joke about some troubled times from other folks and how by the end they turned their life around. Even though it did start off as a joke, as I worked through the song, I realized that it really had some depth to it, and was a truth for a lot of people that needed to be told.”
“Sad Bird Still Sings” is an intentional song about the stigma of mental health. According to Tim, “I don’t feel like there is enough music out there that turns a light on mental health. I don’t think enough people talk about it. There’s a lot of people you may not realize are suffering from depression, anxiety, ptsd that will give you a smile and say everything is good. I don’t feel like it gets talked about enough and that the stigma that’s attached to it needs to be done away with. In my mind, mental health is just as important as physical health.”
The final track, “Fishin’ Hole” is a personal favorite as it was written about time spent with his grandpa, Fred Brock from Jackson County, Kentucky, and his fishing hole. “He died young and he had a farm that mamaw still lives at. My favorite memories were going to visit them. They had a big farm pond in a holler and he stocked it up. He would call all the grandkids to come go fishing. I wrote that song in 2014 and in 5 minutes it was done. That song is one of my favorite ones I’ve ever written.”
One song that has struck a chord to many is “Pills and Poverty.” Goodin reflects on writing the song and its journey.
According to him, he and his wife moved to Alabama in 2016. “I was going back and forth between there and Pineville, but then I would only go in for major holidays,” Goodin said. “There would be times that there was a 3-4 month gap before I would go home. When I would go home, it just seemed like everything was run down. I know that the economy there is not great because that was the reason why we had to move to start with. There just wasn’t a lot of opportunities where you could make a good living. Coal business died down. There were times when we didn’t have enough money to even buy groceries for whole week. When you’re immersed in it, I didn’t see it or see how down everything had gotten economic wise. I remember some houses growing up were so nice, but now going back they are run down. Then I got to thinking about the drive in that growing up, it wasn’t like this. You get to thinking about when oxycodone became a big thing, which was early 2000s. When I was in high school, that is when I began to see the decline in the economy. It is like it goes hand in hand – Jobs go down, pills went up. People that you know your whole life that are good people, a lot of them got addicted from their doctor overprescribing for something that they didn’t need. That came flooding to me one night and I will say I wrote those first two verses in 2018 coming into town. Then I put music to it in August 2021 I finished writing it.”
The song has become one that many can relate to and have told thru comments on social media how they know exactly what he is singing. “It’s a tale that is true for most rural communities, but also most bigger cities. I’ve got people reach out from all over the country saying that is like how it was growing up. The reach you can potentially have off the internet is like mind-blowing,” Goodin said.
So why would a musician consider TikTok and how would they gain traction. According to Tim Goodin, “I noticed a lot of folks during COVID were posting TikTok videos on Facebook. So I downloaded the app a month before I decided to post my first video. I was seeing other people singing and they had a lot of followers. I thought well I could do that, so I figured I would give it a go and it snowballed from there.” It sure has snowballed as he has gained over 100,000 followers who interact with him on song input.
Interesting enough, you are liable to find folks like Ralph Stanley, Keith Whitley, Travis Tritt, Dan Tyminski, Waylon Jennings, southern gospel, and 90s country in his setlist. When it comes to Tim Goodin’s overall sound, you will find someone that is pure Appalachian soul that is humble to have the talent of singing and songwriting.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.