Pop acumen is not as easily achieved as many may believe. Is “Eight Days a Week” a simple song? Of course. Is the mastery the Fab Four had over the Ed Sullivan audience a simple thing? Of course not.

According to clubs that book national acts, Dean Ford and his band, the Goodnight Process, have that same gift in spades. Ford’s sharp tool of a voice, angst-ridden lyrics and anthemic production have yielded a product that folks are starting to crave.

In conversation, Ford is a little reserved, but thoughtful and undoubtedly ambitious. He’s got as good a shot as anybody in this town to get some traction in a national market. It’s hard not to root for him and his newly formed team.

So go ahead, embrace the Jonas Brothers jangle; there’s more going on there than you think. Find out by streaming the band at and check out Friday night’s 9 p.m. show at the Big Easy, 55 Market, St., Portland, at (Five bucks in advance, $6 at the door, ages 21 and older.)


Tell me about Goodnight Process.

The band initially started as a way to perform my songs live and not be alone. So these guys were supporting me and then all of a sudden, we had a couple auditions, and then it really started to come together. Now we’re a real rock and roll band. The whole idea is to have as much fun as possible, escape from your problems with loud, catchy power pop.


Are you guys touring nationally? That’s crazy!

Yeah, that’s a totally new thing. This lineup has been together for two months. We don’t have money, we don’t even have a new record (we’re working on that now), we’re just going out to test the waters and learn what it’s like to be a real working band and see what it’s like to play in a new club every night. Just get on stage and get our feet wet.

Where does this record fall in the progression of your work?

The Goodnight Process released one EP last year, but now two band members are different. To me, this is our first real record. This is the closest we’ve ever come to the sound in my head. It’s a modern sound, but it has obvious elements from Beatles, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, with updated production value. It has a classic feel, but would fit in with a modern sound.


Who do you admire most on the Portland scene and why?

That’s a tough question. I guess I’d probably have to say Jon Wyman (recording engineer and producer at Halo) and Spencer Albee (Rustic Overtones, As Fast As, School Street Mafia). Jon is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met in the music scene. He works or has worked with most of us. Beyond his natural talent, he’s a very supportive person and is able to push you past your potential. Spencer’s just one of my favorite songwriters since I was in middle school. I always looked at him. Now, he’s actually playing on one of the tracks on the new EP. Everything he puts out is good.


Describe your earliest memory of Maine.

I went flying kites with my father at Fort Williams. It was an amazing summer day on the water. We lost track of time, we were there ’til dark. It didn’t seem as late as it was. We actually were there after they closed all the gates. I had to climb over this barbed fence, and my dad went under it. It was muddy, and I think there was a little blood involved.


What do you want to sound like in five years?

Something memorable. I don’t want to sound like I’m doing it for a quick buck. I want it to still be genuine. I want the sound to get stuck with people, real rock and roll that people listen to forever.


Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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