Top of the morning, folks. Top of the word-pile: SHOWS. Playing quite a bit here in Nashville later this week; then to Atlanta and Charlotte next. ATL peeps–please come out and support our show at Eddie’s Attic next Thursday! Ticket link HERE; your advance purchase is appreciated! Here are the dates and locations for this week and next:
Friday 9/14 City Winery (upstairs lounge) Official Americanafest Showcase 5:30-7 pm
Swapping songs with Paul Burch and Becky Warren; sponsored by 30-A Songwriters Festival
Saturday 9/15 Peter Nappi Studio (1308 Adams St, 37208) 4 pm (trio; we’ll play a couple of informal sets)
Saturday 9/15 Tennessee Brew Works “A Finely Tuned Showcase” (quartet; 8 pm)
Sunday 9/16 “Sunday Morning Coming Down”(The Compound, 919 Gallatin Ave.,37206; quartet, 6:30 pm)
Thursday 9/20 Eddie’s Attic Decatur, GA EARLY SHOW–7 pm (trio) GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
Friday 9/21 River Jam Charlotte, NC 7 pm (trio)
Check the tour page (http://kg.kevingordon.net/tour/) or bandsintown for more details.
Americanafest: Greetings from Americanafest week here in Nashville–the Americana Music Association‘s annual festival and business conference, an ever-growing Godzilla of a thing that never seems to sleep or even slow down much. I’ve been throwing myself into the fray this year quite deliberately, challenging my own introverted habits, and so far, for the most part, have enjoyed myself and been able to keep my old friend Cynicism pretty much in the janitor’s back closet in the conference center of my mind. Apologies to the janitor . . . .
The best part: the music, of course. In the last two days I’ve heard more great live music than I do in a usual year. (Yeah, the ratio is my fault; I understand.) I started my week out just right–getting to hear one of my Louisiana heroes, Tony Joe White, play a set at a party on the roof of the BMI building. Followed by The War and Treaty, and Israel Nash. All great. Last night, at the urging of my managers, I attended the AMA awards show at the Ryman. Speaking of Louisiana folks, it was so good to see and hear Irma Thomas and Buddy Guy there. They both were being presented with Lifetime Achievement awards, and both of them can still burn a stage down to ashes in their own distinctly original ways. I particularly dug Keb Mo‘s introduction of Buddy–both what he said about Mr. Guy, and about blues music in general, made me want to meet the man, hang out, play a song or two. I enjoyed learning about the all-woman Olivia Records label; two of the founders, Judy Dlugacz and Cris Williamson, received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive. That I had never heard of this groundbreaking label spoke volumes to me about my personal ignorance, and about our collective history–the obscene myopia of “the business” and the culture at large–who gets acknowledged, who gets forgotten–that one’s ultimate “career fate” often has little or nothing to do with the music itself, and all too much to do with prejudice and fear when race, gender identity, and sexual orientation are factors. Things are getting better, I suppose (albeit, to sorta quote Mr. Isbell, “through a white man’s eyes”), though all too slowly. On top of all that there’s the predictable crud that goes on in any field of business–the more money that’s involved, the greater degree to which personal politics can and do play a role in who gets selected for what. And . . . I’ll just stop right there; I don’t need to hoe that row again. There are a lot of good people in this growing corner of the biz and I’m grateful to know, and to work with, some of them.
I missed some of the show while out in the lobby talking with folks–and let me tell ya, something about paying $11 for a plastic cup of beer does tend to keep one very sober. I heard a lot of very positive things about the new record. I’m grateful to everyone who’s written about it, played it on the radio, or even given it a listen when they didn’t know me from Adam. Good news is always welcome, though there’s something that happens when you make a record and release it into the world–the praise received never quite feels like it has anything to do with me or others involved in the process–these things (recordings) take on a life of their own; it’s like hearing someone rave about your adult child’s accomplishments–you’re responsible for the creation of this entity, but it’s on its own now, connecting with people without my being personally involved in the conversation. And I am glad for that separation–because I still maintain that it’s not about me; it’s about the music.
I’ve spent two plus hours working on the above paragraphs, and have thrown down three strong cups of coffee and a bowl of steel-cut oats w/blueberries. I have also pledged to self to make it down to the conference today, badge around my neck with my name on it (so I remember it I suppose, ha) and my cultivated-though-genuine positive attitude present and open. Though I seem to be most comfortable here at the keyboard (or notebook), pecking/scribbling away, and/or banging on a guitar, I should get it together and get out there into the light and find what’s possible. I hope to see YOU out there somewhere soon. Thanks, as ever, for your support and enthusiasm.