Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Homefront This Week: Country and Bluegrass the Sound of Mountain Soul

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Homefront This Week: Country and Bluegrass the Sound of Mountain Soul

Article excerpt

The voice that leaps from the CD player is hard and flat, standing firm in the raucous swirl of banjo, fiddle and mandolin, singing about working "at the sawmill six days a week/and it still ain't enough to make ends meet."

It's a slightly different voice I hear over the phone later that day, one that's gently twanged, full of the hesitations and upward inflections of someone born and bred in hill country. Thoughtful and quick with a soft laugh in conversation, Gary Gordon holds nothing back when he sings.

The Gordons, that being Gary, his wife Roberta, and assorted friends and family, have just released "End Of A Long Hard Day" on Reception Records of Carbondale, Ill. It's 12 cuts that range from a scorching instrumental workout on the traditional "Johnny Bring The Jug Around The Hill," through several original songs and down-home versions of a couple of Gretchen Peters-penned tunes. "That's a really interesting question," Gordon says, asked if their brand of acoustic music is strictly bluegrass. "Sometimes, if a person came in on a certain part of our show, they'd say, `man, this is like, hip folk music, or something.' "Some people have really exclaimed about our music being `mountain soul,' specifically with my wife singing, although the album probably doesn't showcase her voice that well. If you heard her live, you'd probably agree, mountain soul might not be a bad tag, `cause I've seen people with tears in their eyes. "But we're pretty flexible with it, and I think the bluegrass heading would be fair," Gordon adds. Whatever you call it, the Gordons are decidedly acoustic nowadays, though they're no strangers to lugging amps about and plugging in. Gary and Roberta began performing together in 1974, playing festivals and colleges in the Midwest, before relocating to North Carolina for a few years in the `80s. "We worked out of Charlotte, N.C., a pretty busy city with a lot of travelers in the area," Gordon remembers. He pauses, thinking back harder, trying to be true to the music they played and those who listened. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.