Article by Elia Burkhart, Staff Writer
For fans of the Yugos, the Deftones, the Decemberists, and Damien Jurado, here's a band steeped in history, known as much for impactful songwriting as for talented musicianship. The Mountain Goats returned to Cincinnati at the Woodward Theater!
Formed in 1991, the group is focused around the prolific songwriting of founder John Darnielle, often hailed as one of the best living songwriters and lyricists in America. With influences as diverse as David Bowie, Hank Williams, and Lionel Richie, Darnielle’s songs tell stories about normal people looking for hope in tough times, with a penchant for classical allusions and song cycles that adds a complexity that is often lacking in the work of other writers. The group (which in the past often consisted solely of Darnielle) has released numerous albums in a variety of formats and fidelities. Their most recent LP, 2017’s Goths, is the first to feature Matt Douglas (keyboards and woodwinds) as a full member of the band (now a four-piece, along with long-time member Peter Hughes on bass and drummer Jon Wurster). The Mountain Goats have performed here in town a number of times over the years. Back in 2007, after a bad show at Covington’s now-closed Mad Hatter, Darnielle vowed to never again return to the Queen City, but after a hiatus of several years, the group (formed in California but now based in Durham, North Carolina) have performed at the Taft Theatre, Bogart’s, and the PNC Pavilion.