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Kevin Gordon

DOWN TO THE WELL (Shanachie) • Kevin Gordon

Check it out, this is a fantastic roots rock and roll record. Every time it plays, I like it better than the last time. Could be habit forming.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Kevin rock the house a couple of times, but till I had the jacket in my hands, I had no idea how great the lyrics were. It's shocking, like Chuck Berry on the rockin numbers (and the man wrote amazing lyrics) and Bob Dylan on the rootsy songs. The songwriting is consistently first class, with just two great co-writers, Colin Linden and Gwil Owen. Not a weak song on the disc. The songs are great stories, I won't cheapen them here with Cliff Notes. Groove vignettes and blue portaits of rural southern life, pure roots poetry.

Gordon grew up on black music in Monroe, LA. His poetry in college landed him in the respected Iowa Writers' Workshop. You won't find too many rock and rollers with that in their press kit. When Iowa icon Bo Ramsey caught him at an open blues jam in Iowa City, he offered him a spot in his band that lasted for two years. Bo co-produced this record with the artist and his expressive and inspired guitarist, Joe McMahan. Bo plays or sings on seven of the tracks, adding his smoky and sinewy signature. The title opener is a beautiful duet with Lucinda Williams, it sets the bar high and it never comes down.

David Jacques on bass and Kevin McKendree on keyboards shine brightly throughout the record, excellent. Three great drummers appear: Brian Owings (who lately plays with Buddy and Julie Miller), Paul Griffith, and Rick Schell.

Kevin Gordon tours widely, look for him coming to your town, especially in the Midwest. Rock and roll fans and lovers of fine songs should pick this one up. Sample the clips on our Listen page, and buy it here.  • FG

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