Kevin Gordon’s narrative began in Monroe, Louisiana, where he “grew up the son of well-intentioned, but backsliding parents. I was a very confused young man.” Like many other children of the 1970s who fit that description, Gordon wrote poetry and discovered skate-boarding and punk rock despite being weaned on the region’s early rock, blues, honky-tonk and rockabilly sounds. He sang in a high school band whose repertoire was entirely Ramones and Sex Pistols covers. But his own fusion of words and music ignited after a girlfriend’s parents gave him a guitar and he discovered the more literate and worldly compositions of the influential Los Angeles roots-punk outfit X.
In the late-’80s Gordon moved to Iowa City, where he studied poetry and graduated with a masters degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. At the same time, he became indoctrinated in the world of the working musician. Gordon graduated from blues jams to playing guitar in a regionally touring band led by Bo Ramsey. When Ramsey took a hiatus, Gordon began fronting his own group and writing his own songs, which he’s continued to do for more than 20 years.
It helps for a songwriter to love music and language. Gordon lives for that collision. For his latest collection, ‘Long Gone Time,’ Gordon returns to his native Louisiana for inspiration – and that feeling that you can go home, but change is inevitable. Listen to performances and conversations captured at Beehive Studios in Saranac Lake, New York.
Accompanied by Steph Graham on bass and backing vocals.