Okay, September, I like you, so far, much better than your predecessor already—it’s been as close to a perfect morning here in middle TN that I’ve seen in many a rising summer sun. Just when I thought that walking-out-into-a-hot-oven feeling would never pass, here comes something merciful. Some days you just feel lucky: I woke up in time to get the garbage bin out to the alley, after less than 6 hours sleep, with 20 minutes to spare before the truck with its particular squeak and hum, brakes-and-hydraulics dog whistle came rolling through at 7am. A little while ago in the backyard a very not-shy big yellow butterfly sat on my finger for 2-3 minutes, apparently waiting to be photographed, which I managed to do with my free hand. The little things . . .
It’s been a good week; I’ve played three benefits for Louisiana flood relief, and enjoyed every one of them:
Last night was very special—not only did I see and hear my old friend from junior high, Kevin Griffin (frontman of the band Better Than Ezra) for the first time in at least 25 years, I met one of the show’s other very special guests, Emmylou Harris—albeit briefly and somewhat awkwardly. I’m rarely star-struck anymore, but she’s someone I’ve always looked up to as a model of artistic integrity and musical excellence. Two longtime friends play in her band—Will Kimbrough and Bryan Owings.
Patrick Sweany called me up to join in on his closing song, “Street People”, the Bobby Charles classic; in return, I had Patrick come up for our last song, Fats Domino’s “Ready, Willing, and Able”. We’ve been friends for years, but had only played together once before last night. One thing I love about this town—a real sense of community, a community of really really talented individuals that I feel like I learn from every time I go out and hear them play, or listen to their records. And you never know who’s going to show up around here; I never imagined I’d be getting to know the distinctively amazing singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock, and his very gifted friend, fellow singer-songwriter Emma Swift. The two of them, with Ruby Boots, played what was perhaps the most unique set of the night—Robyn opening solo with Dylan’s “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door”, and then the trio together recasting some well-known songs in entirely fresh ways—“Jackson” by Lucinda Williams, and The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek”.
I had a great band with me last night, and I want to thank them again for joining me to support the cause: Bryan Owings on drums, Dave Jacques on bass, and James Westfall on keys. And thanks to Mike Grimes and Terry Rickards for putting together this whole shebang.
On Tuesday I played a benefit put together by my friend from Louisiana, Chris Canterbury, and the folks at the Tin Roof, a venue closer to Music Row, both in terms of the clientele and physical location, than I usually get. A lot of younger folks, swinging for that big hit, or otherwise just trying to get down to something real. I definitely brought something different to the party, but people listened, and I got a number of compliments afterwards. Another Louisiana amigo, Monty Russell, played and had me sit in on guitar with him. Good fun. Chris, a phenomenal songwriter, is also a talented graphic designer, and put this t-shirt together, which you can order here, in either the Saints-ish black/gold, or the LSU purple/gold: http://www.revival615.com/ Proceeds go to help flood victims in south Louisiana. I’ll model it for you here in this awful selfie, and it really IS better that you not see my hair in its “funny shapes n’ all” ridiculousness right now, hence the severe crop, ha ha . . . :
Last Saturday the guys from the Natchez Tracers band had me come down and play a solo set during their flood benefit at Kimbro’s in Franklin, TN, which I thoroughly enjoyed, spanish moss on the mic stand and all. It was cool and casual—I sat down for the set, and played a few of the new ones I’ve been writing lately.
What’s coming up, you ask? Well, a LOT. I’ve upped my exercise regimen, and my vitamin intake, to prepare for the impending adventures, which include opening two shows next week(in Atlanta and Nashville) for Jeffrey Foucault, a weekend on the road with Todd Snider & friends, 2 shows early on during Americana Fest week here in Nashville, then an almost 2-week long solo tour up east. Way up east. Then back south. Way down south. To Louisiana and south Texas, with my friend-with-a-great-new-record Amy McCarley in tow. Stay tuned—(and check the tour page, or bandsintown, for details)—surely much social media fodder will be generated from all this…at least some good music.
We’re now having a CD sale at my virtual home base, kevingordon.net. It runs all weekend through Labor Day! (Sale prices automatically show up in your PayPal cart.) Need to raise funds to help get a couple of long overdue projects completed (some sponsors of Long Gone Time still have some rewards coming—fear not, I haven’t forgotten . . . I’ve just been busy, which is what you hope happens when you release a record. So thanks again for your continued patience.)
Have a great and safe holiday weekend, folks—and thanks, as ever, for your support!