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Oxford Stories: Members of the Band Ebenezer Goodman Balance Music and School

From right. Shine, Goodman and Carroll
From right. Shine, Goodman and Carroll

College students here at the University of Mississippi all can agree that music is a big part of their lives, but for members of the band “Ebenezer Goodman,” it’s a passion and hobby that keeps their wallets filled.

Ebenezer Goodman is a local college band based out of Oxford. The band is comprised of three guitarists, a drummer, a bass player and a percussionist. They practice in one of the member’s garage when they are not studying.

Andy Shine, a junior biology major, is one of the lead guitarists and owner of the garage where the band practices. Balancing the band with schoolwork and a social life is not easy for the Meridian native.

Andy Shine playing in their “Jam Room”
Andy Shine playing in their “Jam Room”

“I never really thought that our band would gain this much attention, but after we started getting calls from local bars, sororities, and other establishments asking us to play at their functions, I realized we had something going,” he said.

Shine has balance his pre-med schoolwork and his fraternity position with his band. All three of these activities take up immense amounts of time, making it hard to find time to play guitar.

“The hardest part is finding time to study when we get a random philanthropy gig on a Tuesday night,” he said. “School comes first always for us, but when there is an opportunity to play in front of a big crowd and make a few bucks at the same time, it’s hard to say no.”

Caleb Carroll is a lead guitarist and junior biology major. He is also the social chairman for his fraternity.

“The best thing about our group is that we are all friends outside of our band, hanging out with the same friend groups, which makes things run smooth,” he said. “As far as school goes, I think I have found a good balance between the two, and the toughest part for me is planning our social events for the fraternity while finding gigs for our band.”

Ebenezer Goodman playing outside the Kappa Delta sorority house.
Ebenezer Goodman playing outside the Kappa Delta sorority house.

Ebenezer Goodman is a cover band that plays classic rock and Southern alternative music, usually drawing large crowds.

Drummer John Brahan is a junior double major in public policy and theater. He is very involved on campus, but finds time to get behind the set and jam.

“The garage is our sacred place,” he said. “It’s where all things come together, and the music starts to sound good. I love playing the drums, but enjoy playing with these guys more because of how close we all are.”

Avery Goodman is the bass player for Ebenezer Goodman. Goodman is a sophomore business major from Meridian. Shine and Goodman jammed together in high school, but never really expected to have a college band.

“Andy and I used to jam at our homes back in Meridian in high school, but I never thought we could find other guys who were as passionate about music as we were,” he said.

Ebenezer Goodman has played all over Mississippi and Alabama. They have gigs scheduled in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Memphis, Starkville and Auburn. What started as a little “jam session” in a garage turned into something they never really expected.

These guys also had a huge opportunity this past fall when they opened for a popular Southern alternative rock band called “Moon Taxi.” Shine said that this was one of the band’s biggest accomplishments.

Shine at the lyric opening up for Moon Taxi.
Shine at the lyric opening up for Moon Taxi.

“This was, by far, the coolest thing I had ever done,” he said. “Preforming in front of that many people with guys in such a well known band was incredible. These were the dudes we looked up to.”

Carroll, who controls the booking for the band, is getting good experience.

“Not only am I able to play music and do what I enjoy, I am getting good at talking with people and booking events,” he said. “I get calls all the time from random people, so it’s a good way to get better at interacting with people.”

The band is simultaneously playing, studying at Ole Miss, and trying to obtain employment in their field of study. They all have goals, but love music and want to keep it in their lives as long as possible.

Article by Brian Romski as seen on OxfordStories.net.

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