Hard to believe, but I have a couple of shows coming up!
Tues. 3/7 Eastside Bowl Nashville (opening solo for Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express)
Fri. 3/31 Eastside Bowl Nashville (Friday night! With the KG quartet you know & love . . .)
We have thirteen finished tracks for a new full-length release! Still a couple of steps to go, but basically there. Lots of news to come! I would love to get some feedback from you; it is a constantly shape-shifting marketplace out there, and my team and I could use some input about how you’re feeling about purchasing (and/or streaming) music and associated merch these days. Here are a few questions:
1/Do you still buy CDs?
2/If you still buy CDs or vinyl, does special packaging/bonus content matter to you?
3/What’s your preferred way of listening to music: streaming, physical product(CD, vinyl, USB, etc), downloads?
4/Do you participate in crowdfunding campaigns(Kickstarter, et al.)?
5/Do you support artists via other means, such as Patreon?
6/Do you listen to music on the radio (terrestrial or online)?
Just copy and paste into an email, and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think you know what I’m getting at here. I think we’ve made a great record, and I want to get it out there as best I can, with what budget I can conjure. But as of now, the “budget” does not exist.
There are no wrong answers. Your opinions are important–thanks for participating!
Tomorrow, March 3, is Bandcamp Friday, when Bandcamp waives its usual fees to help us music purveyors with a little bigger return on sales. I know it’s been a while since anything new has dropped in the KG BC, but . . . who knows? Check it out tomorrow! https://kevingordon.bandcamp.com/
Thoughts on Peter Cooper
Friday night I performed “Down to the Well” at a memorial/celebration of life for my late friend Peter Cooper, who passed from this realm in early December of last year. I was honored to be part of a show that also included Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, Emmylou Harris, Fayssoux McLean, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Chris Richards, Don Schlitz, Jon Byrd, Irene Kelley, Charlie Worsham, Eric Brace, Tommy Womack, Andrea Zonn, and Thomm Jutz. Thomm led the first-rate house band: Andrea, Eric, Mark Fain, Lynn Williams, and Jen Gunderman. Wasn’t Molly Secours’ film beautiful? Many thanks to event producer Lindsay Hayes, who did an excellent job, and to everyone else who made the night go so smoothly.
I didn’t prepare any remarks—but I so wish that I had. Said a couple of things off-the-cuff before we kicked off the song. What I said was okay, I guess, but I wish I could take another crack at it. Sometimes I put a distance between me and the situation at hand, especially if it’s emotionally difficult. Only after saying to one too many people afterwards that the show had been “a lot of fun” did I realize that I was emotionally detached. My pal (and excellent photographer) Madison Thorn and I had a good dark incredulous laugh about it at the time, though. For such a fine writer and human being, who gave me and my songs so much articulate attention (and even recorded one of them, with Eric Brace), the least I could have done is to have attempted to give him a little of the same. A few thoughts here; I’ll try to keep the self-flagellation to a minimum.
I knew him as a journalist first; only later did I learn that he was a fine singer-songwriter. He had a lot of enthusiasm for the music he loved, and I’m proud that my songs and recordings fell into that category. To have someone in the press, in an industry town, who as part of their lot is to be subjected to all sorts of pitches and mountains of music to listen to, take notice of what you do and spread the good word is a rare stroke of luck. And because he wrote and performed his own songs, we were able to have good deep conversations about music, about this strange thing that puts a story and a few minutes of melody out in the air where there was silence before.
Around the time I was trying to finish “Colfax,” circa 2008, I heard a couple of songs played live that showed the way forward. One of those was Tommy Womack’s “Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood;” the other was Peter’s song for Hank Aaron, “715.” Both long narratives, both told in spoken-word fashion, over a straight groove that didn’t draw too much attention to itself. One great thing about this town is that you can go out any night of the week and hear something that will change your life, or at least get you out of your own box, and give you implicit permission to grow. Those songs affected me deeply, and I hope Tommy knows that, and that Peter knew that. I hate that I have to use the past tense there.
In August 2020 Peter contacted me, asking if I’d burn him a CD of the Down to the Well solo demos that I’d release only digitally on Bandcamp later that month, describing himself as a “streaming-flummoxed old man.” Of course I obliged. What’s not clear now is why I had to leave it in my mailbox for him to pick up . . . was this just “high pandemic” caution? I suppose so, because I sure wasn’t on the road then. Later that day, I found a twenty where I’d left the CD. I’d told him not to worry about the $. In searching my digital world for correspondence with him, I came across emails showing that he generously contributed to every crowd-funding campaign I ran. Something I’m still trying to learn after all this time is that the lines often blur between professionalism and friendship, that I could be his friend and that he could still write well and fairly about the records I made. I just wish that I had been a better friend.
My last correspondence with him was early last July, after I’d publicly disclosed my throat cancer diagnosis and begun treatment. He said some very kind things, which out of fear of appearing self-serving I won’t repeat here. I asked how he was; he replied that “all is not well” and mentioned a little of what he was going through, though I, like many others, really had no idea the depth of his struggle. He said he didn’t want to “get in my business” but wanted to make sure I knew about MusicCares and Music Health Alliance, and even offered his own financial support, which I politely declined. He told me about his season tickets to the Sounds baseball games, and suggested we go to one, describing it as the best therapy he knew. Probably not something I could’ve done last summer, given the doctors’ orders to stay out of the sun, but how I wish we had. Peter gave us so much. And what we give each other is the best of all we have. May we remember him, and treasure his work and loving spirit always.