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April on the Rise: Some Girls/Cincinnati/Florence Dore/Juke Joint Fest/Concert Window/NOLA!

Spring springing

Yes, I’ve been quiet here in virtual-world for quite a while; maybe I sensed that I needed a break. I don’t know what it is, my friends; sometimes I just have to step away from all the crud. Not that YOU are the crud. I think you know what I’m saying. Just been kinda in a weird zone. Spent a solid month not traveling or playing gigs (after having a great tour with Todd Snider back in February). But steady working around the house. Getting guitars fixed. Getting ready to write songs again, I think. And you’ll be glad to know: I’m a little pissed off, about a lot of things. Those two components together–the I’m-about-ready intention and some ever-useful behavioral fire-starter . . .  well, I’m curious as to what’s going to happen. No whining for its own sake will be allowed, in final drafts at least, but semi-coherent emotivity(?) re: an increasingly incomprehensible universe (or, government) will be encouraged ‘cause it’s good medicine—you gotta get that stuff out of your heart, right?

In a state of semi-insomnia one night last week I ordered the deluxe version of the Stones’ “Some Girls” record—which may be rightfully criticized for its misogynistic content, but it’s the energy that’s grabbing me—When the Whip Comes Down, their version of (Just My) Imagination, Respectable, Shattered, good Lord it just goes on and on. You can hear them reacting to both disco AND punk. And NYC. Surely one of their finest 70s efforts. Even if it is the peculiar wild abandon of a gang of millionaires. The music’s there. And the second disc of outtakes is damn near as good as the “real” record. 

All this non-speaking, settin’ down the bullhorn—some would say it ain’t smart. That I must stay present in peoples’ faces/screens or I’ll be forgotten. But hell, I got more faith in y’all than that. As my therapist reminds me: I’m always working, whether I’m “working” or not. It’s tricky like that, this song-conjuring, recording-making, show-delivering thing. The sensor is always on. And it’s all coming in. No matter how low the light, how bright the dark. I’ll keep you apprised of the developments. In the meantime:

It’s back to the show business next week, with four dates on the books. Gonna be fun. On Monday, April 8, I’ll be playing guitar for/with Luella, at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, up in Madison, TN, right behind Jenna’s Toy Box, that’s right, the adult accessories shop and bookstore. We’ll play a half-hour set of spirituals, at 9:30pm. Next Wednesday, April 10, I’ll be in Cincinnati, Ohio, opening for the great Chris Smither at the 20th Century Theater—which I played a couple of years ago when I was out with Todd Snider. Love that venue, and I’ve always dug Chris; I’m looking forward to the show.

On Thursday, April 11, your humble troubadour will be participating in something other than the usual twangin’ and bangin’—my friend Florence Dore, who is not only a fantastic singer-songwriter but also an ultra-sharp Faulkner (et al.) scholar as well, will be at Vanderbilt’s First Amendment Center auditorium. She and I will talk about music, literature, and her wonderful book, Novel Sounds: Southern Fiction In the Age of Rock n’ Roll. After our talk (I am personally much more interested in what she has to say than in my own verbal contributions), I’ll play a short set with my band, consisting of Ron Eoff on bass and Joshua Hunt on drums. It’s an early one, Nashville: 5 pm start. This will be entertaining AND informative. And you might just hear me play some of the 22(!) verses of Frankie & Johnnie!

Saturday, April 13, you can find me in one of my favorite towns, Clarksdale, Mississippi; I’ll be playing the Juke Joint Festival at 1 pm that afternoon, on the “Mr. Tater” Issaquena Ave. Stage, near the New Roxy Theater.  Check the official fest schedule for all the details. After that, who knows—I might just wander off into the woods somewhere and listen for a nightbird to sing. Or find a house party, and watch that movie play on into the night. 

KG returns to Concert Window: It’s been too long–I had such a good time the first time I did one of these, why have I waited so long to do another? Put it on your calendar, folks: Thursday, April 25, 7 pm Central. Here’s the link: https://www.concertwindow.com/100752-kevin-gordon I’ll be checking out your comments during the show, and requests are welcome, of course–even far in advance (sly grin . . . ).

And Hello Again, Beautiful New Orleans: On Tuesday, April 30, I’ll be playing an in-store at Louisiana Music Factory, at 1:30 pm. Hope to see my local pals, and whoever might be in town for the ‘Fest—it’s always a good time—and as you probably know, it’s a GREAT record store. Format yet to be determined–but whatever happens, I’m going to have fun. 

Safe travels and travails to you—I’ll see you out there, somewhere.

Love,

Kevin

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KG This Week: On the Road With Todd Snider

Bell Biv DeVoe (painting by Chuckie Williams) check my gear choices for the tour this week

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

8:52am

home

While sitting in the waiting room of the emergency vet clinic last night, I had plenty of time to think. Pearl the dog and I have been involved two outta-nowhere dog fights in as many weeks, while on our daily walks, minding our own business. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries to canines or humans in either case, though she started limping yesterday and was obviously in some pain so we took her in. She’s currently enjoying some pain meds while semi-zonked on the sofa; I’m treating my hands with fizzy splashes of hydrogen peroxide and an occasional coat of neosporin, and things are looking better all around. So, though I did not attend those Grammys, the show (though secondary to Pearl) was on my mind. Congratulations to all the winners, and to the nominees, especially those from the “home (Nashville) team.” I think those of us who find ourselves in the “Americana” world consider the mere inclusion of the category in the awards to be a big step towards greater mainstream exposure—which is indeed a good thing. As long as the music stays real . . . .

Some years ago, my friend Gwil Owen and I had a song (“Flowers”) on a Grammy-winning record, After The Rain, by the great Irma Thomas from New Orleans. I found out not very long ago that I coulda gotten one of those little statues—I just had no idea at the time, and it didn’t occur to me to ask. I could’ve put it next to my participation trophy from 5th grade football (best bench-warmer, ha), the science fair ribbons (biorhythms and holograms), and a couple of diplomas. I don’t mean to make light of the award; it would be by far the standout among my visual displays of personal accomplishment, most all of which are, in reality, either hidden away or have been lost somewhere to an attic back in time. (Well, yeah, there are those records I make, of course. I’m just talking statuary and such.) Most of y’all know me well enough by now to know that it’s not the trophy that matters to me. I’m still just thrilled that Irma cut our song!

I’m very excited to be getting on a tour bus early tomorrow morning, joining my insanely talented friend Todd Snider for a string of dates. I’ll be opening solo. Todd has a new record coming out soon, Cash Cabin Sessions Vol. 3; you can hear/download a track here: https://toddsnider.net/ I love opening shows for Todd; his audiences get it—they listen, but it still feels rock n’ roll to me—a kind of raucous, irreverent vibe that makes real fun (and real music!) possible. Here are the dates/locations; as ever, check out venue sites for more information:

TUES. 2/12    BLOOMINGTON IN (BUSKIRK CHUMLEY THEATER)

WED. 2/13     BLOOMINGTON IL (CASTLE THEATRE)

THUR. 2/14   COLUMBIA MO (THE BLUE NOTE)

FRI. 2/15       OMAHA NE (SCOTTISH RITES HALL)

SAT. 2/16       OKLAHOMA CITY OK (TOWER THEATRE)

SUN. 2/17      LITTLE ROCK AR (SOUTH ON MAIN)

(Many more KG dates will be added to the tour cal soon, and I’ll be joining Todd for another tour in June.)

I had a great time talking with Luke Levenson from Rolling Stone Country yesterday, recording an interview for his new podcast Eastbound Nashville. And hey—it’s up on the net today, for your listening pleasure. Fresh, baby! Here’s the link:

Hope you enjoy Luke’s insightful questions and my over-caffeinated babbling. 

Since I have about 300 things to get done before leaving town, I’m going to close here for now. Hope to see you in person this week, if you happen to find yourself in one of the cities where we’ll be. Have a great week! I’ll stay in touch from the road.

Love,

Kevin

 

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