Washington DC's The Public Good is led by songwriters John Elderkin (guitar, vocals) and Steve Ruppenthal (bass, vocals), who were also the nucleus of North Carolina's now legendary The Popes. One of the most acclaimed bands to emerge from the early 90s Chapel Hill music scene, The Popes' first release, "Hi We're The Popes," received national airplay on college radio stations and made a splash on the College Music Journal charts, landing a spot higher on the 'new releases to watch' poll than REM's release at the time. Billboard, Cashbox, SPIN Magazine and others gushed about the record and the band. The Public Good's live shows in and out of the District have developed a cult following intrigued by the band's special mix of heart-pounding rock-n-roll, brain-wrenching IQ quizzes, and occasional costume dramas. The band is rounded out on stage by literary genius Sam Esquith on guitar/keyboards/tambourine, and the supremely talented roaming percussionist Chris Garges (Mitch Easter band, etc.) on drums. Together, the quartet are increasingly recognized as formerly the smartest band in the world. Their 2009 release 'No. 1' hit #1 in Waterville, ME and since it's release has captured the approving attention of fans and critics alike: "... Music with a clean, clear and sharp mind of it's own ..." " ... enough relevance and intelligence to be moving and thought-provoking ..." "... Songs toughened with the dark voices of experience ..." Band History As The Popes, Elderkin and Ruppenthal penned songs for independent releases such as the cassette-only "Afar" and WXYC's collection "DemoListen," and compilation records such as Mammoth Records' 'Frequency.' The Popes also contributed to the internationally released tribute to Alex Chilton, "Not the Singer But the Songs' on Munster Records. After a failed record deal with First Warning Records, The Popes split up. Years later Elderkin and Ruppenthal found themselves in Atlanta, GA. The two played together again first as muscular pop group Stumble and then as the hard rocking Lovely Lads. The Lads released two acclaimed CDs on Put It On A Cracker Records, first "The Lovely Lads v. The World" and then "Lucky Jim." Another break in the music followed when Elderkin left the US for a Fulbright teaching exchange and subsequent graduate work in Gainesville. Fate intervened eventually, however, finding the two songwriters blocks from each other in Washington DC in 2007, when they formed The Public Good. Longtime listeners have noted that they are writing the best songs of their career. What has always separated Elderkin and Ruppenthal's songs from the pack is their ability to rock the house in their own style while singing with humor, originality, and empathy about the foibles and pleasures of everyday life. When one of their songs cranks up, you know it's them right away. ***Reviews for "No. 1"*** Luna Kafé: "... catchy ... charming ... (with) humor and wit ... well-written, well-arranged and steadily performed ..." Margaret Luongo: "I keep looking for new music that resonates for me, and often, even if I find music that I do like, the lyrics don't do enough. I've been really hungry for stuff I can relate to, that has enough relevance and intelligence to be moving and thought-provoking. So, that's why I'm so excited about (No. 1). It's musically interesting and fun, and the songs make me think about things that are already on my mind." Robert Muirhead, IsThisMusic.com: "... The music is led by the lyrics and the lyrics tell stories of everyday life ... (No. 1 has) a clean, clear and sharp mind of it's very own. It takes you into it's own little world and cocoons you before showing you it's' own troubled heart ... The songs here have all been toughened with guitar twangs and the strong, dark voices of experience." Wildy's World: "The Public Good is aptly named and off to a good start ... No. 1 is more than sufficient to build a fan base ..." ***Press for Elderkin and Ruppenthal's songwriting*** Billboard: '... tuneful and inventive ... excellent tunes ... sparkle with incomparable harmonies ...' Cashbox: '... unpretentious, witty, hard-edged pop ...what sets them apart is their spunk, their smarts, their cohesion and their songcraft ... completely natural, spontaneous and correct... songs about real, concrete things rather than hazy emotions (which, by the way, are leading us straight to hell) ... ' SPIN Magazine: ' ... [they] really do deserve attention ... ' Bruce Warren, THE BOB: '... can't honestly remember when pop songs were so darn uplifting ... sparkles with power-punk/pop harmonies ... a totally pleasing post-post experience ... they remind me of baseball cards and London Calling; of Batman and Tommy Keene; of 20 minutes of 'Elizabeth Reed'; of my first band ...' Instrumentation John Elderkin - vocals, guitar, piano Steve Ruppenthal - vocals, bass, guitar Sam Esquith - guitar, keyboards, percussion Chris Garges - drums Matt Everhart - drums.