Like most touring musicians, it’s been a real challenge staying off the road during the pandemic. In fact, James Gordon’s new album ‘When I Stayed Home’ addresses that very issue as you can tell from the title.
James loves Vancouver Island, and the kind people on your lovely island seem not to mind him too terribly much, so it seemed natural for him to return to the coast from his base in Guelph for his first tour since you-know-what. It’s been quite a year already for the veteran songwriter. His first ‘musical novel’ ‘The Ark Of The Oven Mitt’ (about a Canadian band on the road, oddly enough), was named a finalist for the prestigious Stephen Leacock Humour Award, and the reviews for the unique book (there are 36 songs that accompany the story)- have been remarkably enthusiastic.
This spring Gordon had his first ‘viral’ hit with his controversial song ‘Crybabies Caravan’ about the so-called ‘freedom convoy’; 300,000 hits on YouTube and social media, and a lot of press.
In May and June in Southern Ontario he directed the sold-out run of an equally newsworthy theatre production called ‘Living Below The Line’, written and performed by a courageous group of people all living in poverty.
Interest in his new album continues to be strong, and he’s got a new batch of songs ready to share on the September tour:
Sept 9 – Saanich
(Deep Cove Folk Club) – 8 pm. deepcovefolk.ca
Sept 11 – Powell River
Wildwood Pub, 7 pm, thewildwoodpub.com
Sept 15 – Port Alberni
Char’s Landing, 7:30 pm, charslanding.com
Sept 16 – Duncan
Duncan Showroom, 7:30 pm, showroomproductions.ca
Sept. 17 – Denman Island
Earth Club Factory Guesthouse Bistro, 6 pm
+ Songwriting workshop Sept 18, 10am gigtix.ca
Sept 18 – Cumberland
Mason’s Hall, 7pm
+ Songwriting workshop Sept 19, 2pm gigtix.ca
Sept 21 – Nanaimo
Harbourfront Library, 4pm. Special book reading for “The Ark Of The Oven Mitt”
Sept 23 – Qualicum Beach
(Oceanside Folk/Roots Club),
Qualicum Beach Community Hall 7 pm.
“So many songs. So little time”, that’s James’s dilemma. On this tour he’ll be sharing new works from the album and book, some even more recent works from his new one-man musical ‘James Gordon’s Emergency Climate Musical’ and audience favourites from his extensive back catalogue from his years with the seminal Canadian folk trio ‘Tamarack’ and his years spent as songwriter-in-residence with Arthur Black’s ‘Basic Black’ CBC radio program. He’ll also be giving two songwriting workshops: (He’s done more than 1500 of these in his long career), and will be reading from the new novel at the Nanaimo library.
If his instruments don’t get lost on his flight, he’ll be performing solo on guitar, piano, banjo, penny whistle, mandolin and harmonica and he’ll take audiences on his usual musical rollercoaster ride with everything from the historical to the hysterical.
There’s lots more info about James at http://www.jamesgordon.ca
Here are links to some recent videos:
The Great Divide: the single from the ‘When I stayed Home’ album on Pipe Street Records
For Free: a live video with excellent band
We Are Broken But We’ll Mend- also from the new album
And while you are on YouTube, there are now literally hundreds of covers, many by choirs, of his classic song ‘Frobisher Bay’.