Derek J. Laber Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Ganjo
The Goodnicks would like to tell you that they are fresh new band on the South Florida scene but that just wouldn’t be true…
The Goodnicks hit the scene in late 2003 as an all original pop/rock – pop/country trio playing every rock showcase club in South Florida from Jupiter to Miami Beach. The original line-up consisted of current members, Derek J. Laber, lead vocalist /rhythm guitarist, whom is the chief songwriter for the band and has been recognized as having a very distinguishable voice, Ric Foss, lead guitarist/backing vocalist; a well versed guitar player who’s musical contributions had often been described by Derek as “orchestral parts” as he felt his guitar riffs didn’t come off as just simple redundant rhythms but as almost “lyrical” pieces of the songs, and, lastly, former founding member, bassist/lead vocalist, Paul Thomas, a great songwriter, vocalist and showman in his own right. While the band did begin as a trio, The Goodnicks, also, had a phenomenal rotating group of musicians, dubbed Honorary-Goodnicks, that helped lift the band to greater and greater heights: Drummers, Willy Anido, Randy Ridenour and Brian Chilluffo; Bass Player (and brother to Derek), Dave Laber; and Keyboardists, Jimmy Blankenship and Mel Morley, who sadly passed away in 2012. Performing highlights from the early years included opening for young vocal phenom, Joss Stone, at West Palm Beach’s Sunfest in 2004, a pre-game performance for the Florida Panthers at the Bankatlantic Center in 2005 and a pre-show performance, in 2006, at Sound Advice Amphitheatre’s 2nd Stage, opening for legendary artists, Willie Nelson and John Fogerty. The band appeared to be off to a great start…that is, until 2006…
That year, Brian Chilluffo, moved to Atlanta, Randy Ridenour moved to Nashville, and Jimmy Blankenship and founding member, Paul Thomas, moved to North Carolina, leaving a gaping hole in the trio’s line-up as it relied heavily upon Paul’s songwriting and vocal abilities. This was a major set-back for a band that’s strong suit happened to be its strong vocal presence. The Goodnicks needed a new secondary lead and backing vocalist to round out the bands vocal frontline if they were even going to consider moving forward.
After multiple line-up changes and a four year search, the band finally found its new co-lead vocalist. They found that in keyboardist, Jamie Armanini, who added a much needed energy and musical element missing in the sound of the Goodnicks. He had an ability that was equal to that of Paul Thomas, to quickly pick up on vocal harmonies, and a similar timber in his voice that matched the sound of lead vocalist, Derek J. Laber’s voice, making the bands vocal harmonies sound tighter than it had in quite some time.
While this addition closed the gap in the vocal sound of the band, the Goodnicks were still missing a rhythm section to finally complete its new line-up. What seemed like a hopeless pursuit of a suitable bass player finally ended with the fortunate find in the French born and raised, Tom Souvent. His skills as a bassist really invigorated the already rearing to go trio. With Tom’s talent as an accomplished bass player coupled with his ability to sing back up and lead, as needed, the Goodnicks appeared as if they were finally on their way again. Only one thing was missing now, that being, a stellar percussionist.
Many disappointing auditions later, the Goodnicks found themselves going back to the well of previous “honorary Goodnick” drummers, a moniker given to the back line of the non-official members of the band; a path that led them straight back to drummer extraordinaire, Brian Chilluffo. This, however, created a new problem for the band…Brian no longer lived in South Florida. He and the Goodnicks were determined to make the reunion work, by any means, so the band adapted to a new idea for their performances. They had decided to record Brian’s drums on every song the band performed and, whenever necessary, perform live along with the pre-recorded drum tracks in Brian’s absence. This worked well for the band, for a while, but nothing is quite as good as the real thing…
That’s why Brian returned to South Florida, and, The Goodnicks, permanently in June of 2013.
With the final piece in place, The Goodnicks are fully complete and ready to prove, once and for all, that they really do have the goods… but, don’t take our word for it…come see for yourself!!!
The Goodnicks, LLC
The Goodnicks are a melodic 3 part harmony pop / rock / dance / country outfit that, while establishing it's own sound, was derived from such rock and country greats as Keith Urban, Rascall Flatts, Goo Goo Dolls, Kiss and the Eagles, just to name a few. They have played everywhere in Florida from Jupiter to Miami Beach, including venues such as the BankAtlantic Center, Sound Advice Amphitheatre and SunFest.
Jamie Armanini Piano, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Souvent Bass, Backing Vocals
Brian Chilluffo Drums
Ric Foss Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals