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September Update: Americanafest, Atlanta, and Beyond

Top of the morning, folks. Top of the word-pile: SHOWS. Playing quite a bit here in Nashville later this week; then to Atlanta and Charlotte next. ATL peeps–please come out and support our show at Eddie’s Attic next Thursday! Ticket link HERE; your advance purchase is appreciated! Here are the dates and locations for this week and next:

Friday 9/14   City Winery (upstairs lounge)  Official Americanafest Showcase   5:30-7 pm

Swapping songs with Paul Burch and Becky Warren; sponsored by 30-A Songwriters Festival


Saturday 9/15   Peter Nappi Studio (1308 Adams St, 37208)   4 pm (trio; we’ll play a couple of informal sets)

Saturday 9/15   Tennessee Brew Works “A Finely Tuned Showcase” (quartet; 8 pm)

Sunday 9/16   “Sunday Morning Coming Down”(The Compound, 919 Gallatin Ave.,37206; quartet, 6:30 pm)

Thursday 9/20   Eddie’s Attic   Decatur, GA   EARLY SHOW–7 pm (trio) GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Friday 9/21   River Jam   Charlotte, NC   7 pm (trio)

Check the tour page ( or bandsintown for more details.

Americanafest: Greetings from Americanafest week here in Nashville–the Americana Music Association‘s annual festival and business conference, an ever-growing Godzilla of a thing that never seems to sleep or even slow down much. I’ve been throwing myself into the fray this year quite deliberately, challenging my own introverted habits, and so far, for the most part, have enjoyed myself and been able to keep my old friend Cynicism pretty much in the janitor’s back closet in the conference center of my mind. Apologies to the janitor . . . .

The best part: the music, of course. In the last two days I’ve heard more great live music than I do in a usual year. (Yeah, the ratio is my fault; I understand.) I started my week out just right–getting to hear one of my Louisiana heroes, Tony Joe White, play a set at a party on the roof of the BMI building. Followed by The War and Treaty, and Israel Nash. All great. Last night, at the urging of my managers, I attended the AMA awards show at the Ryman. Speaking of Louisiana folks, it was so good to see and hear Irma Thomas and Buddy Guy there. They both were being presented with Lifetime Achievement awards, and both of them can still burn a stage down to ashes in their own distinctly original ways. I particularly dug Keb Mo‘s introduction of Buddy–both what he said about Mr. Guy, and about blues music in general, made me want to meet the man, hang out, play a song or two. I enjoyed learning about the all-woman Olivia Records label; two of the founders, Judy Dlugacz and Cris Williamson, received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive. That I had never heard of this groundbreaking label spoke volumes to me about my personal ignorance, and about our collective history–the obscene myopia of “the business” and the culture at large–who gets acknowledged, who gets forgotten–that one’s ultimate “career fate” often has little or nothing to do with the music itself, and all too much to do with  prejudice and fear when race, gender identity, and sexual orientation are factors. Things are getting better, I suppose (albeit, to sorta quote Mr. Isbell, “through a white man’s eyes”), though all too slowly. On top of all that there’s the predictable crud that goes on in any field of business–the more money that’s involved, the greater degree to which personal politics can and do play a role in who gets selected for what. And . . . I’ll just stop right there; I don’t need to hoe that row again. There are a lot of good people in this growing corner of the biz and I’m grateful to know, and to work with, some of them.

I missed some of the show while out in the lobby talking with folks–and let me tell ya, something about paying $11 for a plastic cup of beer does tend to keep one very sober. I heard a lot of very positive things about the new record. I’m grateful to everyone who’s written about it, played it on the radio, or even given it a listen when they didn’t know me from Adam. Good news is always welcome, though there’s something that happens when you make a record and release it into the world–the praise received never quite feels like it has anything to do with me or others involved in the process–these things (recordings) take on a life of their own; it’s like hearing someone rave about your adult child’s accomplishments–you’re responsible for the creation of this entity, but it’s on its own now, connecting with people without my being personally involved in the conversation. And I am glad for that separation–because I still maintain that it’s not about me; it’s about the music.

I’ve spent two plus hours working on the above paragraphs, and have thrown down three strong cups of coffee and a bowl of steel-cut oats w/blueberries. I have also pledged to self to make it down to the conference today, badge around my neck with my name on it (so I remember it I suppose, ha) and my cultivated-though-genuine positive attitude present and open. Though I seem to be most comfortable here at the keyboard (or notebook), pecking/scribbling away, and/or banging on a guitar, I should get it together and get out there into the light and find what’s possible. I hope to see YOU out there somewhere soon. Thanks, as ever, for your support and enthusiasm.





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Tilt Shines on / Lyrics Booklet download / Vinyl Pre-Order / Ongoing shoes, Upcoming Shows

Something about September showing up . . . Hey Summer–enough already! We’re looking at another day here in middle Tennessee with the heat index reaching about 100 this afternoon. Good (indoor) thinking weather, I suppose.

Thanks to all of you who’ve bought the CD, the download, and/or are streaming via your preferred source for such. It is ALL positive. Y’all are downloading more, and streaming more, it seems. Whatever your mode of receiving the music, you might be interested in the PDF booklet of lyrics and liner notes from Tilt and Shine that I’ve recently made available as a free download. You can get it here:

Tilt and Shine Booklet

or if you buy the record from my bandcamp site, you should be able to access it there. I’ll be putting together a “deluxe” version, with additional photos etc. sometime soon. Hey–here’s another nice review, hoo-rah:

Mayer’s Playlist for Summer 2018, Part 1

Vinyl pre-order: Speaking of bandcamp, I’ve set up a pre-order option there for the vinyl LP edition of Tilt and Shine. Yes, the LP is still a-ways off from getting here, but the pre-order comes with an immediate download in the file format of your choice, so you can listen to it that way til the platters do arrive.

I’ll be hitting the highway again tomorrow, playing WDVX‘s “Tennessee Shines” live show in trio formation at Boyd’s Jig & Reel in Knoxville, TN, on Wednesday, September 5, from 7-8pm EST. Can’t be there? Listen in live at 

Next week I’ll be here in Nashville for the annual Americanafest, playing an official showcase at City Winery on Friday 9/14, from 5:30-7:30pm with my pal Paul Burch and others (sponsored by the good folks from the fabulous 30-A Songwriters Festival), and otherwise running around town playing a few other shows (see the tour page for details.) Hope to see you! It’s gonna be fun. And look out Atlanta and Charlotte: we’ll be greeting you in trio formation in a couple of weeks, on 9/20-21.

Had a great time a couple of weeks ago here at the house with the fine folks from The East Nashvillian; I don’t usually associate photo shoots with fun, but it was far beyond painless. Look for a feature on yours truly coming up soon in the music issue–and there’s other interesting press forthcoming, too.

Questions/complaints/etc.? As ever, the buck stops here:



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August Update Right Now While It’s Raining

(Hi everyone! Scroll down to find out where to get the new record, Tilt and Shine–) Happy Wednesday, I never know where to start first–with whatever’s on my mind, or, as in today’s example, with a brief obligatory reminder that I have a NEW recording out, called Tilt and Shine. We’re up to #46 this week […]

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Tilt and Shine: Get Yours Now–Here’s How!

“Mesmerizing… Gordon delivers another album that comes as close to sonic poetry as anything from any musician who hasn’t already won a Nobel Prize for literature… earthy, literary music… visceral, electric blues-based vibe… See how it shines, indeed.”–Scott Stroud, Associated Press, 7/27/18 ” . . . Nashville singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon’s latest full-length Tilt and Shine may be the […]

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