Greetings from a slightly blurry morning, from 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.
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/1399273898) and 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”!