The Best Prog Bands You’ve Never Heard Of (Part Seventeen): Goodthunder

Hailing from the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, Goodthunder made music that was meant to be played loud. Clearly inspired by some of the blues-based and psychedelic hard rock groups of the day – Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, especially – the band featured some solid talent (guitarist David Hanson and keyboardist Wayne Cook stand out), but remained obscure during their brief existence. Of course they were not the only group at the time writing heavy, guitar-oriented songs, but Goodthunder displays a proficiency that makes one wonder what else they could have done had they enjoyed even a modicum of success. Here are some of the highlights from this obscure gem:

The album opens with the rollicking “I Can’t Get Thru to You,” a “radio-friendly” song as far as prog goes. Hanson’s guitar drives this brief but powerful piece.

“For a Breath” again showcases Hanson’s talents on the guitar, but Cook shines on the organ and Bill Rhodes impresses with a brief but solid bass solo.

David Hanson’s guitar continues to shine on “Home Again” and “P. O. W.” Both songs also feature impressive work from Cook on the keyboards.

The final song, “Barking at the Ants,” is by far the strongest and most progressive on the album. Although it opens with a catchy guitar riff courtesy of Hanson, it is Cook’s organ – reminiscent of the sound of the late Jon Lord – that takes center stage here.

Although Goodthunder did not make it very far in the music world, their sole album showcases quite a bit of potential. If you are in the mood for some obscure prog with a heavier edge to it, give them a shot.

Stay tuned for number eighteen!


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