Kevin Gordon – Tilt and Shine
‘Tilt And Shine’ is the latest release from critically acclaimed artist Kevin Gordon. A performer who has somehow managed to stay under the radar of mainstream success despite having had songs recorded by Keith Richards, Irma Thomas, Levon Helm, and Lucinda Williams.
It’s difficult to tell if the album is of a fully autobiographical nature but it’s certainly observational as Gordon delivers stories of innocence-ending encounters in songs such as ‘Fire At The End Of The World”’ and ‘Gatling Gun’.
The contemplative ‘Saint On A Chain’ paints a vivid picture of a character on the road looking for redemption while seeking protection from an old St. Christopher Medal given as a gift by a deceased parent.
The new record is a showcase for what Kevin Gordon does best. His songs are filled with fully-realised characters and places portrayed in strong lyrics that echo the style and quality of the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle. Gordon’s trademark guitar sound has been described by many as swamp blues and is delivered with guts and passion by an overdriven 1956 Gibson ES-125 giving a sound and style that falls somewhere in between Bo Diddly and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The often conflicting situations that life throws upon people and the scenarios in which they check-out permanently are explored the fast-paced shuffle of ‘One Road Out (Angola Rodeo Blues)’.
He said “everyone’s a preacher inside a prison cell. If they ever leave here living, they leave Jesus in the jail.
‘Right On Time’ is a bluesy rocker that portrays life on the road as experienced by a working musician while ‘DeValls Bluff’ is a dreamlike trip into the deep south, which seems to lead the listener into the dangerous world of swamp-noir featuring a character seemingly dealing with a tense bout of idleness and an increasing sense of paranoia over events yet to unfold.
Frogs in the night. Ain’t no riverboat light. Still water don’t talk much. Newspaper headline from weeks gone by. The death of the Star City judge.
Gordon punches well above his weight on this latest release and gives the listener a fully-formed listening experience that covers the things that matter most to all of us; love, death, religion, and family are familiar subjects all delivered with an original twist. His songcraft is second to none and lyrics are poetic and full of vivid and recognisable imagery.