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November Descending a Downspout: WXNA/Family Wash/On the Road

Happy November to you. Woke up to gray skies and light rain yesterday; the gray is hanging on this morning. It’s still a beautiful world out there, especially when seen through all those clean windows I’ve been working on, ha ha. The big ash tree in the front yard is still holding most of its leaves, which in the last few days began turning a brilliant shade of yellow. 

photo by Gina Frary Bacon.

photo by Gina Frary Bacon

WXNA: I had great fun last Saturday, playing with Paul Burch, Garry Tallent, Heather Moulder, and Justin Amaral; we did a whole set of Chuck Berry songs at the Basement as part of a fundraiser for a great radio station, WXNA. Garry, in addition to being a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band for the last 46 years or so, as well as a successful producer (some of you know that GT produced my first record for the Shanachie label, Cadillac Jack’s #1 Son), released a very fine solo record of his own this year, Break Time.

KG on WXNA: This coming Friday, Nov. 3, at 6 pm CST, I’ll be on-air on WXNA with Heather Lose, talking about various musical matters re: KG. Listen in–from right there on the home page! I’ll probably play something live from the new record. 

One matter to talk about now, and on the radio Friday, is my upcoming show with Steve Poltz and Stuffy Shmitt at the Radio Cafe just up the road in Inglewood, this Saturday night, Nov. 4, starting at 7 pm. I’ll be in trio formation, joined by Ron Eoff and Tommy Perkinson. Fun for the whole 21-and-over family, folks—I’ll go on at 9, but come early for the whole dang deal.  

I don’t know the details regarding his recent departure from The Family Wash, but things will certainly be different without Jamie Rubin‘s presence. As others have pointed out in various social media posts, he has made an incredibly positive impact on East Nashville, starting out in a former laundromat (hence the name) three blocks down the street from my house, on a corner that at the time was still a commercial “frontier.” When people ask me about my neighborhood’s growth over the last two decades, I usually say that if you had told me, when my wife and I first moved into our house in October of ’95, that we’d soon (well, by 2002) be able to enjoy a pint of Guinness (and a lot more!) within walking distance of home, I’d have laughed out loud. (The nearest restaurant when we moved over here served what could be politely(?) referred to as “prison cuisine.”) The Wash quickly became my favorite place to play–and hang. I met Peter Wolf there. My pal Audley Freed introduced me to his friend “Chris” one night–who certainly didn’t look like a rock star–in fact I’m really really glad I didn’t pipe up with the stupid question then on the tip of my tongue: “So are you a crew guy with the band?” I was talking with Chris Robinson, singer for Black Crowes and now the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Sometimes I’m convinced there is a saving grace . . . that helps keep even my mouth shut at the right time. Most of us locals have adapted to the larger, fancier digs of the new location, but the vibe of the place has always been one of a family business (even if the name didn’t contain “Family”), so when a prominent “family” member and the originator of said business departs, it will inevitably leave a tangible void. Mr. Rubin, my friend: THANK YOU.

Upcoming shows include dates in the northeast, Nov. 15-19; St. Louis, and Macomb IL Dec. 1-2, Birmingham AL Dec. 14, and Pensacola FL on Dec. 15. And a special Christmas Eve-eve show at Byron’s in Pomeroy, IA on Dec. 23! See the tour page for details.

Okay, I’m keeping this one brief, but don’t worry; I’ll have much more to say SOON.  



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October Update: A Wider Sky


It’s another busy week around the Gordon-plex, and a short week because of impending travels. Nice to feel the Fall finally settling in; I was wondering there for a while if it would actually happen. Given the year that 2017 has been, not much would surprise me. I’ve been home a lot lately, doing those things I do when not driving around a few hundred miles a day: beating on guitars, caterwauling and scribbling. Attacking the overdue 2016 1040. And cleaning windows. For a simple chore around the crib, I can’t think of anything more obviously satisfying. Our house was built around 1930; the original windows, for better or worse, depending on the room you’re in, are still in use, covered by storm windows. The seasonal light deprivation coming on is motivating—I need as much light coming in as possible! I know it negatively affects me, though when it gets cool and cloudy, as a Louisiana native that translates in my mind into “gumbo-making weather.”

But sitting outside yesterday, though the daylight’s getting shorter and changing hue, for the first time since late Spring I was able to look way up into the giant ash tree in the front yard and see a woodpecker going about his percussive business—the leaf-cover that brings so much welcome summer shade over the house (the ash, and a cherry tree in the front; a hackberry(yuck) and two large pecans in the backyard) is slowly disappearing. Shorter days, but a wider sky. And I swear that the squirrels who live in the larger pecan tree have been downright partying since my dear dog’s passing—a breeding party from the looks of it—and have taken on a new can’t-scare-me-mister attitude. One’s mind sometimes turns to the idea of a pellet gun . . . nah. I just wish the urbanite hawks and owls around here (the owls nest in a tree two yards over) would work a little harder on keeping the population down. I suppose they are, when it comes to the rodents I really don’t want around, because I don’t ever see those, though I do fear I’ve got a possum squatter under the deck.

The last-minute additions to my show schedule have been plenty this month, and it’s been fun knocking around town morphing into different versions of self—old-school honky-tonk guitar player with Jon Byrd, an upcoming special set with Paul Burch later this month, to fronting my own shows, including tonight’s “rehearsal” gig (which I was asked to play, via text, last night at 10:30), a solo set at the Family Wash, at 8:30—rehearsal for three shows I’m opening for my pal Todd Snider later this week:

Thursday, 10/19  Kent Stage    Kent, OH
Friday, 10/20  Otus Supply    Ferndale, MI
Saturday, 10/21  Bell’s    Kalamazoo, MI

If you’re planning on attending one of these shows, check with the venues for showtimes, etc. And don’t be afraid to cheer on your humble opening act! It’s a real pleasure to play shows with Todd, and his crowds have always been receptive to me. I know that Saturday’s show, at least, is sold out—hoorah!

Speaking of scribbling, I did get some good news recently, that a song Gwil Owen and I wrote, “One I Love”, was recorded a few days ago, here in Nashville, by a great artist from out of town—I’m a little superstitious about these things, so details will be revealed as they become more certain. I’m also in the revision stage with two new songs that I’m excited about.

Okay, if you’re on the email list, check the email version of this post for a special discount on selected merchandise—I’m trying to make that a regular thing, though sometimes I don’t quite get there! (I can only wear so many hats for so long . . . and the marketing hat is the most uncomfortable on the rack.) If you’re not on the list, now is a great time to change your life, ha ha—there’s a sign up form on just about every page of . Those in the know will tell ya—it’s a once-, at most twice-a-month knock at the in-box.

On a serious note, to all women out there, I applaud your courage in speaking up and out about sexual harassment and abuse. I hear you, and I believe you.  More about this soon–because it is a huge, and hugely important, subject. Please keep telling your stories. It’s my sincere hope that the clueless among us will at last somehow get one.


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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts . . . and other thinks

Good morning. Happy Thursday. You know, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say, given all the terrible news of the past few days, and I still don’t have a very good answer. So, I’m just gonna piece this one together, from things I’ve written since Monday. But coming right up:  Two shows this week–I’ll […]

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Americanafest! (official or not) / Spirits, Trips, and Mentions

Dear friends, Here in Nashville this week it’s Americanafest 2017, the annual live music festival and business conference staged by the Americana Music Association, who’ve made great strides in exposing this music (though it’s a wide spread of options) to the “mainstream” public. I look forward to playing for those of you in town four […]

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