Kevin Gordon’s voice is made from dust and red clay. And the songs on the Louisiana-born performer’s sweeping new album Gloryland are chiseled from the bedrock of life — the honest facts of rambling, needing, loving, soul-searching and experience.
“I like the unfinished ending — the story that just continues when the song’s over,” says Gordon. “Life never sums itself up in three-and-a-half minutes, and a good song doesn’t need to do that either. But it should tell a story.”
All 11 numbers on Gloryland have an elemental feel — proof that Gordon’s working at the peak of the songwriter’s craft. His characters, from the school kid narrating the coming-of-age yarn “Colfax/Step in Time” to the panhandler in “Trying To Get To Memphis” to the folk artist Pecolia Warner, the subject of his lovely duet with fellow Americana singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind, “Pecolia’s Star,” have a depth and personality that brings Gordon’s songs of the South into sharp focus, even if their essential questions about the mysteries of faith, truth and humanity hang in the air as he moves on to the next tale.
It’s not just Gordon’s poetic vision and the raw character etched in his sinewy voice that gives his fifth studio album such remarkable substance. He and producer/multi-instrumentalist Joe McMahan have created a fresh, dynamic sonic approach for Gloryland that’s equally deep.