Local teachers create an album of inspiring messages


Allen Thurlow

Allen Thurlow and Jim Goodwin with their album “Songs From Home”

On June 10th, Bedwell’s beloved Allen Thurlow, alongside friend and fellow teacher Jim Goodwin, will be releasing their 6 song EP, “Songs From Home.”

Being written in the midst of a difficult time, “Songs From Home” provides an important and uplifting message about looking on the bright side. Thurlow explained his hope for “people hear it and feel happy, and it gets them to think about music as a collection of work, rather than a single song.”

The idea first sprung when Thurlow performed “I Wonder” with his teacher band in the district talent show. After winning the talent show Goodwin approached Thurlow with his idea to make an album together.

With having a lifelong passion for music, Thurlow returned to writing songs after his kids were born, writing “silly tunes to make them smile and started writing tunes again, this time with a theme more geared to them”

Not only does his inspiration for music come from his kids, but Thurlow noted that “writing music makes other people happy,” and when he discovers that people like his music it inspires him to write more.

Thurlow began teaching at Bedwell in 2005 and has since written and performed songs for the students at school. After writing “Change the World,” its music video “won Funky Kids Radio Music video of the year and received recognition from NJ Senator Anthony Bucco and the Bernardsville News.”

As he is currently the Orchestra Director for the Roxbury Township School District, Goodwin first received a Bachelors in Music Education with a concentration in strings and has over 30 years of playing experience with electric bass.

Throughout his career, Goodwin has played at a number of well known stages including The Starland Ballroom, Hard Rock Cafe, BB Kings and New World Cafe. Goodwin has had a number of incredible opportunities in performing and accepting awards: “the highlights of his career have been sharing the stage with Bob McGrath of Sesame Street, opening for The Winery Dogs at The State Theatre in New Brunswick, being invited to perform for the US Navy’s Fourth of July Celebration in Pearl Harbor with U2byUV – The U2 Concert Experience, and being awarded CD of the year by Creative Child Magazine with his Children’s Music Group Baze and His Silly Friends. Currently he is the Orchestra Director for the Roxbury Township School District.”

With both Thurlow and Goodwin having experience in music and a love for creating it, the pandemic allowed them more free time to begin working on their album. Thurlow explained that creating the album was a “complicated process that [they] learned mostly by doing!”

Thurlow and Goodwin took the songs two at a time to perfect them: “If you listen straight through you can hear the evolution of the songs, as we got better at producing them each time.”

Drawing inspiration from their friends and family, Thurlow and Goodwin were also inspired by beloved artists Micheal Jackson and Elton John when creating some of the basslines and drums on the album.

The duo also collaborated with several friends to create the album, both from local towns as well as Connecticut and New York City. This includes Marc Bazerman, a friend of Thurlow and Goodwin’s with experience recording.

Bazerman “added his magic” to each song by “tinkering with the sound, or a little twist to an intro or an ending.” After sending the song back and forth several times they would then do a car test: “This meant, we’d drive around and listen to the take and if we liked it while driving, it would probably be good to call a wrap on it.”

Thurlow and Goodwin had assistance from several other friends including Scott Persson, Cori Barger, Cort Corbin, John Turpin, and Thurlow’s wife, contributing to the creation of the album with drums, guitar, and backup vocals.

After one listen of an advanced copy of the album, it was made certain that it will leave a lasting impression on listeners with its positive messages and reminders that are sure to stick with them.

While each song is unique to the others, the album as a whole cohesively conveys uplifting and important messages to “bring joy to people” as well as “inspire kids to be kind” and “feel confident in themselves.” As it is less than a month away from being released, “Songs From Home” is a must-listen.