What: JD Eicher and the Goodnights record-release show, with Katianne Timko, Letters to Memphis and Ryan Ross
When: 7 p.m. Friday. Eicher and the Goodnights are expected to take the stage around 8 p.m
Where: The Magic Tree, 7463 South Ave., Boardman
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
“I am what you call a work in progress,” goes the opening line of the new album by JD Eicher and the Goodnights.
It’s a sentiment that summarizes Eicher’s emergence as a songwriter, but it’s also a basic theme of his music.
The two are intertwined on “Into Place,” a 12-song CD released Tuesday by the band. JD Eicher and the Goodnights will do a record-release show Friday at the Magic Tree pub in Boardman.
With “Into Place,” Eicher & Co. wrap up an excellent trilogy of albums, the songs a series of snapshots of lives steeped in optimism and moving toward a future where everything will finally fit together.
Like the final piece of a puzzle, the title of the new album reveals the trilogy theme when they are all read together: “The Shape of Things” (2009), “Shifting” (2011), “Into Place” (2013).
Eicher’s lyrics are sprinkled with the notion that pieces taken from the larger parts can add up to something on their own.
It’s an idea that either found the songwriter, or was always there.
In an interview last week, Eicher said songwriting is an organic way for him to understand who he is and how the world works.
But now that the trilogy is finished, what musical direction will he explore next? “I’m excited to say that I don’t know,” said Eicher. “It’s nice to not have a plan.”
For now, the Canfield native will concentrate on a series of live performances that begins tonight with him doing a solo acoustic gig as the opening act for Matthew Mayfield at Youngstown State University.
The full band will perform Friday at the Magic Tree and Saturday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh.
“Into Place” marks the band’s first album under Rock Ridge Music, a record label and management company that the band signed with last year. The album was recorded in Nashville, Tenn., with Grammy-nominated producer Dustin Burnett.
The band lived in Nashville for about six weeks during the recording process, which Eicher called a great experience. “We lived on site,” he said. “Our beds were about 20 or 30 feet away from the recording console.”
The first single off the album, “I’d Like to Get to Know You,” is getting airplay on several radio stations, including The Summit, heard locally at 90.7 FM.
Eicher is a full-time musician, but because the other members of the band — Ben Portz, keyboards; Jim Merhaut, bass; and Dylan Kollat, drums — have full-time jobs, Eicher does a lot of solo shows, as an ambassador for the act.
He will head south next week for shows at Georgia State University, and then the Hotel Caro- lina Music Festival, a singer- songwriter showcase near Charleston, S.C.