From the moment he started playing gigs around his home state of Alabama, Steven Padilla was a different sort of act, performing songs that weren’t necessarily what every other band across the state — and the USA for that matter — was playing. “I played songs that weren’t necessarily the popular songs,” The Demopolis, Alabama native says of his early days. “Instead, I played songs that were tracks from albums of the artists I liked”.
It was this affinity as a touring artist with the high energy roller-coaster of a stage show packed with unique covers that has helped Steven Padilla hone the roots of his musical identity and to eventually find the inspiration to craft a sound that is as unique as any of the other Country music artists coming out of Alabama. He found inspiration from everywhere around him wrote the songs that reflected his life, where he was and the people around him. The results of all of this work is his debut album GOOD AT GOODBYE.
The album’s anchor is the title track, a song which was originally inspired by a 97 year old neighbor who witnessed most everyone important to him in his life go away and Steven used those emotions to talk about his family and in many ways it’s a metaphor for any musician who spends so much time on the road away from their family. They may get easier to say but a singer with a family really never does get good at goodbyes.
Another emotional moment on GOOD AT GOODBYE is the closer of the album “If I Didn’t Have You,” a song which sums up Steven’s life as a husband, as a new father and as a man of faith. The themes of GOOD AT GOODBYE aren’t all heavy with the singer/songwriter deftly covering life and love and how it all relates to the human condition here on earth, taking a page out of stalwarts like Dierks Bentley, Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark.
Co-produced by both Don Srygley and Steven himself and mostly recorded (on analog tape) at the iconic FAME studios of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, GOOD AT GOODBYE features the statement of Padilla’s rural upbringing in “Country Side Of Mine” while “No Time To Think” melds a haunting melody to a lyric about life and how fast it can be, it’s the type of song that speaks to the human condition while the percussive modern melody of “Fishin’” infuses a playfulness to the building of a relationship. “This Woman In My Life” is a sweet song about how love can change our lives for the better and it’s these songs from GOOD AT GOODBYE that speak to the poetic and heartfelt nature of Steven Padilla’s ’s artistry.
That heart has served him well in the build up to this moment in his life and his career. His familiar, yet different, path to the national country music scene has shaped who he’s become as an artist while the stories and themes of his songs have been heavily influenced by those folks around him and closest to him. While the world’s just getting to know Steven Padilla, by listening to his debut album GOOD AT GOODBYE, we all get to feel the heart of a man who is ready for what the future holds and it’s a bright future indeed.