The Adventures of Good & Proud
After finishing her set at a showcase of local female singer-songwriters, Tovah Goodman was approached by another songwriter on the bill, Kelly Proud. The two had never met.
“Can we make babies?” asked Proud, the first words ever spoken between them.
Goodman agreed immediately, and their first child, their duo project The Adventures of Good & Proud, was born not too long afterward. Their shows consistent of a variety of songs: some serious, some comical, some originals, some covers, some performed solo by one or the other, some performed together. And between songs, they perform mini comedy routines filled with innuendo-heavy banter, much of it improvised.
“We realized there was kind of a need in this town for some fun,” says Goodman. “The bands here take themselves way too seriously.”
“Not always without good reason,” says Proud. “Some of them are awesome and should take themselves seriously. But we are not serious.”
They do, however, have some serious songs. Proud plays piano and keyboards and Goodman plays guitar. They both sing.
With Goodman accompanying on guitar, Proud sings a sad and lovely rendition of the Linda Ronstadt Spanish language song “Por un Amor” and originals like the after-hours piano ballad “My World,” sounding a bit like a bluesier Tori Amos.
Their voices have very different textures—Proud’s is higher but scruffier—and the voices complement each other nicely. It’s more of a distinctive blend, like Jagger and Richards, than the clean harmony of two vocalists who sound similar. It’s more like the Stones than the Beatles. And they nail the tight harmonies.
They do almost unrecognizable covers, like MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” with Goodman singing the quick rap verses with a seemingly effortless sing-song voice. They do an a cappella rendition of New Zealand singer Lorde’s contemporary hit “Royals,” complete with foot stomps, hand claps and body slaps, and a vocal arrangement that bounces back and forth between them.
Their live performances are like variety shows, with a mix of comedic sketches, novelty tunes and more serious songs. They riff on current tunes and popular culture. At a recent show, they did a live mash-up of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and Katy Perry’s very similar sounding song “Roar,” with Goodman and Proud adopting the personae of the pop starlets. Proud, playing Perry, even stripped down to a cupcake bra.
Their onstage antics invite a lot of heckling, but Proud says they’re happy to heckle back.
“We’re good at it, and we have microphones,” she says.
Their shows usually include Goodman’s “Stalker Song,” in which they invite an audience member up onstage. Goodman serenades him, getting closer and closer and maintaining eye contact long past the point of being uncomfortable, adopting the creepy persona of the obsessive romantic who narrates the song, mistaking a casual hello for true romance.
“I have to go over the top or nothing,” she says.
The “Adventures” part of the band name is important, because this isn’t just a musical duo, but a song, dance and comedy act that’s almost like some inappropriate late-night variety act.
“Most shows, you kind of know what to expect,” says Goodman. “We love that people come to our shows going, ’I hope I don’t get picked on.’ They never know what to expect.”