Social links

Tour Journal / KG Update

July 20, 2018

Comfort Inn, Rochester NY

rm. 107

A quick post: We’re past the halfway point now, and I can see the home stretch ahead. I absolutely love getting out here and playing my songs for you, accompanied by a rhythm section I’d put up against ANYBODY(yes, I said that and I believe it)—not that music’s a competition, a race, a sporting event—but you know what I mean. I love these guys (Ron Eoff and Joshua Hunt), and I’m honored to have them on the bandstand with me anytime.

They’re pretty good drivers, too, hoorah—yesterday morning in Buffalo I was feeling about 200 times worse than I do right now, throwing things (neither far nor breakable, for the most part) out of frustration, usually at something irritating precisely because it WAS something so minor. Why the long face? (for some unknown reason . . . sleep deprivation? Fatigue? The ever-present feeling of failure when it comes to multi-tasking on the road? Some of each, right there side-by-side, I think.) This is not “woe is me”—this is, just . . . how it is sometimes. 13 shows in 14 days tends to make just about anyone a crispy critter–and I’m feeling just a little out of shape (and out of mind). But onward, and upward–

We’ve had great shows—the first three right out of the gate were incredible—lots of enthusiastic people, good vibes all around. And the shallower nights, the thinner crowds, well, it happens everywhere. Even in those cases, the venues were fantastic. I’m grateful to the venue owners/talent buyers/bartenders/servers for their kindness.

TONIGHT, Friday July 20, you can hear us at The Burren in Somerville, MA, downbeat at 7pm. And because of a scheduling conflict, our good friend and drummer/madman extraordinaire Marco Giovino will be sitting in on drums, filling in for Josh. This is gonna be fun! Hope you Boston-area folks can make it.

Saturday July 21 I’m so pleased to be a part of Swamp Stomp, in West Kingston, RI, on the bill with several old friends, including The Linemen, Paul Burch, and Jon Langford. Please check the online listings for schedule—I think we go on at 4:30 pm. Really really looking forward to this—thanks to Dan and Liz Ferguson for having us.

Sunday July 22 we’re playing an early show at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT, the Sunday Buzz Matinee, hosted by Cygnus Radio! 4 pm.

Monday the 23rd we return to Rockwood Music Hall, on the lower east side of Manhattan, playing Stage 3, down in the basement—my favorite stage in that venue. Please come out NY! We had such a good time last time I was there—a full dang room!

Tuesday 7/24: Pearl Street Warehouse (Wharf Stage), Washington, DC! An early “happy hour” show, 5:30 pm. Great setting—really looking forward to this one—and we’ll be celebrating the last show of the tour! Briefly, before starting the drive home, to get rested and ready for:

Friday 7/27: Tilt and Shine RECORD RELEASE SHOW! At City Winery in Nashville. With Shannon McNally and Ben de la Cour each opening with solo sets, followed by yours truly, in quartet formation with the aforementioned Mr. Hunt, Mr. Eoff, along with Joe V. McMahan. Please get your tickets now, as there is limited availability! I will try to post the ticket link here (the hotel internet is broken, rrrrrarrrr)—but you can find it in the bandsintown calendar listing on my tour page (http://kg.kevingordon.net/tour).

Then on Sunday, July 29, we finish out the month with a big bang—returning to NPR’s Mountain Stage, in Charleston, WV!

Been a thrilling, busy, chaotic month—thanks to all of you who’ve come out to the shows, bought merchandise, supporting us and the venues who’ve hosted us. Sponsors–thank you for your patience–look for an update just for you from me in the next day or so. 

Oh hey—we’re up to #52 on the Americana radio chart! Two weeks ago we were at #119; last week was #76. Thanks to all you good radio people for spinning Tilt and Shine—

The video for Saint on a Chain is almost done–watch for a premier very soon! Director Zack Richard is killin’ it!

More soon—it’s time to load-out of this hotel, so we can drive, drink coffee, play another show, then load into another hotel, eat, sleep, wake up, repeat. See you out there, my fellow Americans . . . .

Love,

Kevin

Continue Reading

KG Update: Saint on a Chain video / July tour starts

Bright skies out at Percy Priest Lake during the shoot yesterday

Greetings from a slightly blurry morningfrom a sofa co-anchored by a snoring dog, with the laptop and a hot cup in close proximity. Walk outside and the humidity is already sticking to the air, slowing it down, thickening it. I must’ve had one glass of wine too many when I got home last night; I was tired, but I was happy. You see, we made a video yesterday.

With the intelligently understated, efficient direction of Zack Richard, and what-would-we-ever-have-done-without-her stylist Carol Buckley Frazier, we spent the day building scenes for a visual narrative, for what will be the video for “Saint on a Chain,” the first single from the new album “Tilt and Shine.” With earth, water, and fire, (and heat); with the help of excellent actors Ben and Collins de la Cour, bandmates Joshua Hunt and Ron Eoff; Mac Hill at Radio Cafe graciously allowing us access to his venue, and producer Joe V. McMahan building us a slight but effective bonfire in his backyard last night; it was such an interesting process working through the day on this project. I can’t wait to see the final result.

This creature rode around on top of my hat for a while

It’s been a busy but positive and productive time around here. Before the video shoot began at 10 am, I prepped another stack of sponsor CDs for shipping, did a phone interview for an upcoming feature in the Nashville Scene, filled up the van with photogenic amps, guitars, and wardrobe choices, then stopped at the Kroger for bottles of water and bags of ice for the cooler, before arriving at the cafe. Last week the new album was the 4th most-added at Americana radio, tied with such good company as Nick Lowe, Boz Scaggs, and Kinky Friedman. Many thanks to radio promotion team Brad Paul and Lisa Cristiano. Hoorah!

Remember that “Saint” is now streamable on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/track/74JP4q7Se18j2CxnXiYE6r), and is available for download at iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1399273898?ls=1&app=itunes), Apple Music (http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1399273898and other online digital outlets. 

Tonight Josh, Ron, and I head out for a 2-week tour, playing 13 shows in 14 days. As demanding as such a travel schedule can be, I’m very much looking forward to sharing the stage with such excellent players and hilarious comrades, digging into the music. Usually takes a couple of shows for things to really come together on the road, but we’ve been doing this for a while, so it’ll probably feel pretty damned good right out of the gate, tomorrow evening when we kick off the first show at the Burpee Natural History Museum in Rockford, IL. You can see all of the dates on the tour page, of course—(http://kg.kevingordon.net/tour)but as always I highly suggest (especially before traveling a significant distance) that you contact the venue directly (or at least visit their site) to confirm showtime and other details. Though as you Milwaukee folks know, not even that sort of prep can help when WE didn’t find out til 4:30pm day of show at Summerfest that our set time had been changed, moved up to 5pm, instead of the originally scheduled 6. Sigh. We do what we can to push through whatever chaos might get thrown our way, but sometimes it’s just beyond our control. And yes, it is at such times that one wishes for a road manager—one who has the physical (or otherwise psychologically intimidating) stature of an NFL defensive lineman to make the parties that be perhaps reconsider their decision to screw things up for us. We did have fun, and made it work, even though my anxiety level was scraping the ceiling before we went on. But: always—I’m grateful for the opportunity to play. At such times, I have to remember—what’s important is the music, keeping ears open, heart open, communicating between the other band members, and sending something good and real out to the audience. Even if the set-list isn’t finished when you walk on, and you left all your guitar picks in the dressing room . . . .

When we get back, we’ve got a day off, then a rehearsal, then the record release show at City Winery (and sponsored by the good folks at WMOT radio) here in Nashville on July 27. A couple of my favorite artists will be opening the show with solo sets—Ben de la Cour, and Shannon McNally. Please join us, if you’re in the neighborhood, for what will be a special night, on the day the record officially drops!

Two days later, on Sunday, July 29, we’ll be in Charleston, West Virginia, making our 2nd appearance on NPR’s Mountain Stage. The first time we played the show, many years back, it happened to be Super Bowl Sunday, so there were only about 20 people in what would’ve otherwise been a full theater. It was still great fun, but I’m looking forward to playing for more folks this time! 

Here’s a summary of the tour dates for this month (all shows are trio unless otherwise noted):

July 11   Rockford, IL

July 12   Springfield, IL

July 13   Columbus, OH

July 14 Parkersburg, WV

July 15  Cleveland, OH

July 17   Millvale, PA

July 18   Buffalo, NY

July 19   Rochester, NY

July 20   Somerville, MA

July 21   N. Kingston, RI

July 22   New Haven, CT

July 23   New York, NY

July 24   Washington, DC

July 27   Nashville, TN (quartet)

July 29   Charleston, WV (quartet)

For those of you who missed out on the sponsorship campaign, we’ll be offering a pre-order opportunity very soon.

Thanks to our friend, the great Paul Cebar, for sharing Ry Cooder‘s latest release, “The Prodigal Son” with us while we were in Milwaukee; that’s what I’ve been listening to lately, and loving. I’m reading The Mare, a novel by Mary Gaitskill. Binge-watching Mad Men, too, when time allows.

Thanks for your support, and I hope to see you out there on the road. Come say “hey”!

Love,

Kevin

Continue Reading