Motel Drive came to life in 2008 and in its infancy tore off screaming like a crazed Chevy Bel Air on a hot July night in California's Central Valley. Yet, the ever persevering search by long-standing valley rocker JD Goodwin for the right musicians to take his songs to the level where they could lift your soul or break your heart finally paid off in 2009 as he turned his search back toward home, toward longtime friends and fellow musicians. The three-piece lineup that is Motel Drive is comprised of exactly that, longtime friends and former band mates, and has solidified into a diligently focused powerhouse.
In early 2009, the band recorded a six-song EP, $5 Tricks. Truly, as the label warns, the music does lift your soul and break your heart, fulfilling JD's quest for the right band. In 2010, the band completed a self-titled full-length album, Motel Drive receiving critical praise from bloggers and podcasters across the country and even making several "Best of 2010" lists! Tracks from both albums have many times been featured on podcasts and radio shows. Motel Drive has also been featured on several album compilations including Straight Razor Records' Rebels of Rock 'N Roll Volume II and Sound N Vision Foundation's Hope Vol. 3—supporting suicide prevention, playing alongside The Devil Makes Three, Alabama Shakes, and other great bands. In October 2012, the feature film Lost on Purpose premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival with two Motel Drive tracks. The boys went back in the studio in 2013 working on their next album, Forever and a Day, released in 2014. In Spring of 2015, the band was featured on the album compilation Hooligans United: A Tribute To Rancid with their cover of Rancid's 'Motorcycle Ride'.
Proving themselves as a sight to see time and time again, including winning the 2012 Fan's Choice Award at Chuckchansi Gold Casino's Rock at the Top battle and the 2010 Fresno State Battle of the Bands, the local media has caught wind of the growing zephyr that is Motel Drive. Fresno Bee writer Mike Osegueda featured the band twice as "Artists You Should Know" in 7, the weekly entertainment magazine; raved over their performance at Fresno's re:FUSE Festival; and named Motel Drive as a local band deserving greater attention. College radio station KFSR (CSU Fresno) and Monterey Bay Area radio station KPIG have both hosted the band for live in-studio sets streamed across the globe through the Web and have added $5 Tricks, Motel Drive and Forever and a Day to their playlists. The band has also made several live appearances on the KMPH-Fox local morning news show, Great Day. Other accomplishments include winning an opening slot for HANSON's Shout It Out! tour in San Francisco and winning the Southern Rock category and the Pro Performance Video category at OurStage.com. In addition, Motel Drive has opened for bands The Reverend Horton Heat, The Interrupters, Los Straight Jackets, Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys, The Delta Bombers, The Nekromantix, The Rocketz, Hank III, The Supersuckers, Volk, Tony T and The Pendeltons, Lee Rocker, Moonlight Trio, Poor Mans Poison, Three Bad Jacks, Johnny “Two Bags” and June Clivas and The Ditty Boys — to name a few.
The threesome has taken the electricity-filled live show to venues up and down the long state of California. Premium home venues regularly host the band allowing them to play for their core following and best friends. In 2011, the boys toured their way to Austin and back for the SXSW music festival to great reception. The band has since returned to Arizona and Texas for reprise performances and are currently working on more bookings to bring their music throughout the Southwest and beyond.
In September 2022, Motel Drive released a single of their take on Jason Isbell's 'If We Were Vampires', collaborating with longtime friends and fellow local musicians, Poor Man's Poison (haven't listened? click here). The single has been streamed over 385,000 times and counting. In November 2022, the band's long anticipated fourth album, Rescue Me was released.
Make no mistake about Motel Drive. They have caught the attention of promoters statewide and beyond and will continue to do so as word spreads and the band shows what they can do on stage. Motel Drive is truly your new favorite band!