Midwestern Lull



Dave Johnson-Lead Vocals
Mark Toliusis-Percussion, Harmony Vocals
Nick Goodman-Bass, Harmony Vocals
Patrick Sebastian-Piano, Mellotron, Organ, Wurly


Midwestern Lull took shape during the winter of 2001, when Dave Johnson began writing songs after the sudden death of his father. The songs came thick and fast, and life-long friend, collaborator, and drummer Mark Toliusis suggested that the two start a band to accommodate the new songs.

Childhood friend Nick Goodman was recruited to play bass guitar. He and Toliusis came up with the name Midwestern Lull, and booked the band’s first show at the Radisson Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Kalamazoo, MI, where the trio played to a packed house just a few short weeks later.

“We decided to make three-part harmony our thing” says Johnson, “no other bands around us were doing that at the time.”

Goodman was also performing in another band with guitar wizard Erik Sebastian, and his brother Patrick Sebastian on keys. It wasn’t long before they started sitting in on gigs, rounding out Midwestern Lull’s thin sound. Their blues-guitar riffs, swirling organ and piano parts filled the gaps of Johnson’s Americana/folk-rock songs.

With harmonies in place, and the Sebastian’s on board, the band made a sound that was exactly what Johnson had always heard in his head, citing Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Wallflowers, Wilco, and the Jayhawks as comparisons.

In 2009 Midwestern Lull helped launch Railway Records, an independent label of bands from in and around the Chicago neighborhood of Roger’s Park.