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SA Music Awards

2012 Singer-Songwriter: Nicolette Good

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

Nicolette Good

Don't be fooled by 2010 winner Nicolette Good's school librarian persona. She may be shy at parties, but her songs are confident and brash, full of sexual innuendo, rural tableaus, and spine-tingling murder.
Good is rather bookish, plucking inspiration from Willa Cather, Norman Mailer, and classic nursery rhymes to build her songs. But she also weaves her own life experiences into compositions so beautiful and classic that I envision sophomore English students some day highlighting their contents. The lyrics to "Hurricane Caroline," a ballad about an old roommate, earned an honorable mention in American Songwriter magazine's Lyric Contest for its March/April issue.

Far more than a poet with a guitar, Good's arresting voice and haunting melodies turned the heads of fans, venue owners, and industry-types this year. She spent time being filmed for a syndicated television show called Troubadour, TX, a journey that helped her conquer stage jitters and introduced her music to a national audience. "When there's a camera being shoved in your face, you have no choice but to try and look as cool and collected as you can," she said.

In addition to a TV debut, Good broke into the coveted house concert circuit, opening for Betty Soo at Uncle Calvin's in Dallas and for the Austin Lounge Lizards at the Austin Acoustical Cafe. She also embarked on her first mini-tour, swinging through Houston, Austin, and New Orleans on her way to the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis, Tenn.

She releases her first full-length album, Monarch, on July 13. Recorded at Ramble Creek Studio in Austin, the album features Jesse Basham on electric guitar and a host of guest musicians. "I was lucky to pick session players and a producer who are very comfortable sitting on the outskirts of the traditional folk genre," she said, "and who heard my voice and didn't automatically peg me for a country or folk singer."

2. Billy Kiesel
3. Brandon Cunningha

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