BRISTOL - Krista Johnson Goodrich has been singing since she was a child.
“The moment my mom really knew I was a singer was when I got up on the table at my grandmother’s house and turned a prayer that she used to say to me every night into a song. I was two,” the local resident recalled.
Now Goodrich’s first album, “Hindsight,” which came out in 2016, has gotten her nominated for Best in State: Connecticut for the 2018 New England Music Awards.
“I suppose you could call it folk music. I’m in the folk, Americana, bluesy department, but my first album came out a little bit more on the country side, the way it was produced,” she said. “I don’t think I can fit in one genre. I’m a singer-songwriter.”
Who actually nominated her? “I have no idea, it’s a mystery. There’s like a little New England Music Award angel I guess, but I’m really excited about this,” she said. “I found out when my friend Gracie Day, who is also a local musician, messaged me because she’s nominated in the same category and also in another one. We’re very supportive of each other.”
A graduate of Bristol Eastern High School, Goodrich was in madrigals and chorus back then but she said she is mostly self-taught musically.
“I’ve always liked poetry. I went to Tunxis [Community College] for two semesters and at the time I wanted to do interior design, but I got into hairdressing. I work in Collinsville and I have worked in Southington hairdressing and that kind of took my focus for a while, but now I’ve found my music. It took many years to get to that,” she said.
Since then she taught herself to play guitar and write her own music, she said. “My voice is my favorite instrument, I just took up the guitar because I had to accompany myself. I’ve done a little bit of co-writing here and there but mostly they’re my own songs. I do covers as well.”
“Some of my songs are break-up songs, but I have written some things about my struggle with anxiety,” she said. “It’s very personal but I also think a lot of people suffer from anxiety so if they hear someone playing music about it they feel like they are not alone.”
Locally known as Krista Johnson, she has recently adopted the stage name Goodrich. “It’s my late grandmother’s maiden name and she was a really important influence on my life,” she explained. “I’m Krista Goodrich on Spotify but on Facebook I’m still Krista Johnson for now.”
“I want it to be my full time gig at some point,” she said. “I do enjoy hairdressing and it’s lucrative, but this is my passion. Eventually I want to be a full time touring musician.”
“I play anywhere and everywhere,” Goodrich continued. “I’ve played at the Crown and Hammer in Collinsville, the Norfolk Farmers Market, the Collinsville Farmers Market, the Norfolk Infinity Bistro, places like that. I’m playing the Black Bear Americana Festival in Goshen in October, so that’s going to be a really good one. Almost all my gigs this year have been invites, I haven’t had to reach out. I’m a solo act right now. I’m open to having a partner, but waiting for the right time and the right one.”
She said listeners have compared her style to Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, and young English singer-songwriter Birdie.
The first album, with eight songs, she recorded at On Deck Sound Studio in Northfield, with Tracy Walton producing. The second one, “Salt and Soil,” is a five song EP currently being produced by Christopher Hawthorne at Studio 150 in Burlington, Vermont. She expects it to be finished by mid-fall at the latest.
Her songs are available on Spotify and other streaming platforms, and she also hands out CDs at her live performances.
But all this costs money, which she was able to raise through crowd sourcing on Indiegogo, she commented. “I’m really blessed, people have been so generous.”
“It has been a lot of work, but I just keep going. The more you keep playing the more people want to hear you play,” she added. “If people like what they hear they can vote for me. It’s really easy to do.”
To vote, go to nemusicawards.com/vote/.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.