vrijdag 5 juni 2015

Tangle the Blue Sky EP. Kevin Gordon

After 'Tangled up in Blue' and 'Bullet the Blue Sky' we have the combination Tangle the Blue Sky. Especially the writer of the first title is not so far away in the first song on this EP. 'Gloryland' reminds me not a little of 'Gotta Serve Somebody'. There's no doubt where the influence for this song came from. After that the comparison stops. 'Gloryland' turns into a fierce blues rocker.

Kevin Gordon released this EP as a sampler of his work on Noisetrade.com. I discovered it only recently. On his page on Noisetrade you can find the following quote from Lucinda Williams: "He's writing songs that are like short stories, and I really like the kind of swampy, bluesy sound". Who am I to disagree.

K. Gordon (credit:David Wilds)
His music of choice makes it nearly impossible to come with anything original. There's simply no need to. With the songs he presents on this EP he adds songs to the genre that Chuck Prophet would have been proud of adding to his oeuvre. 'Colfax/Step In Time' is such a song. Gordon manages to evolve this song from a typical Prophet mid-tempo rocker into such a soulful song, with background vocals and all. "Straight Ahead" it goes indeed. Heartfelt singing and playing. With everything going about its daily business all around it, the electric guitar keeps screaming out to us that all may just not be well. Interesting music? Oh yeah!

My knowledge of this genre starts somewhere with Creedence Clearwater Revival. Kevin Gordon has that typical John Fogerty playing down. Those deceptively simple sounding songs with three chords at most, until one starts playing them themselves. There are hints of Texas blues rockers of all ages, Chuck Prophet as mentioned and the country rock side of The Rolling Stones. It's all in there on Tangle the Blue Sky. Kevin Gordon has all these different sorts of music on his EP and manages a ballad as well. 'Trying to Get To Memphis' is a beautiful ballad with some nice lead notes on the guitar. Clear sounding with a little reverb on it.

K. Gordon (credit:Jim Herrington)
Highlight of this EP is his duet with the already mentioned Lucinda Williams, 'Down in the Well'. Williams is singing her heart out here. Where I'm not always happy with the way she sings, as it could well fall off the cliff instead of staying on, here she does everything right. Together with Kevin Gordon she creates a great song. 'Down in the Well' may already be 15 years old today, it has not lost any of the urgency from when it was recorded. A great example to what level Kevin Gordon's songwriting can achieve.

It all ends with the pleasantly up-tempo rocking 'One I Love'. Another glimpse of the many sounds Gordon is able to create. The song reminded me of the better work of John Hiatt and that's intended as a compliment.

Tangle the Blue Sky is a great sampler of what Kevin Gordon can do and ought to make fans of this kind of music curious for his body of work. It sure worked as far as I'm concerned. Since 1998 Kevin Gordon released 5 records. They can all be found on the link below. The only thing that is hard to conclude from this sampler is where Kevin Gordon stands today. On Twitter he's announced a new album in September, so we can find out soon.


You can download Tangle the Blue Sky here:


or buy Kevin Gordon's records on his website:


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