Long Gone Time

by Kevin Gordon

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    For the vinyl release of Long Gone Time, the original sequence was restored--all the acoustic tracks on disc 1; all the electric "band" tracks on disc 2. Plus, a bonus track, "If You Will", is included not available on previous download or CD versions of the record. Download card enclosed for .wav or .mp3 versions of all songs on the vinyl release.

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    The new release! Produced by Joe V. McMahan (CD includes BONUS TRACK, "Following a Sign") Voted one of the Top Ten releases of 2015 by Nashville Scene's 2015 Critics' Poll.

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released September 4, 2015

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Kevin Gordon Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Gordon is a Louisiana native whose latest releases, Long Gone Time, & 2012's Gloryland, earned raves from the NY Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and others. His songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Irma Thomas, & most recently, Hard Working Americans. "Down to the Well", a duet w/Lucinda Williams, was featured on the Oxford American Southern Music Sampler. ... more

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Track Name: All in the Mystery
All in the Mystery
©Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden/Gwil Owen(Little Rain Music(BMI)/Colin Linden Publishing(SOCAN)/Turgid Tunes(BMI))

You might be sitting in the shade off of highway 3
Selling honey off the hood of your LTD
With a hole in your shoe and a ringing in your ear
Wondering how in the hell did you wind up here
In a folding chair, neath the birds and the bees
It’s all in the mystery

Standing at the bar, sipping on that rye
You feel so good you could almost cry
If the clock would stop then you could stay
Drink all night to wash away your day
But the lights come up, c’est la vie
All in the mystery

All in the mystery
Take it where you find it
All in the mystery
Heaven knows you might not mind it

Stranded in a motel far from home
Ain’t nobody moving til the storm is gone
Bumpin’ and a-thumpin’ going on next door
Could be love or it could be war
Could be all the same to me
All in the mystery
Track Name: GTO
GTO
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

Daddy got a job at T.L. James, bought himself a GTO
Daddy got a job at T.L. James, bought himself a GTO
Had a little baby boy and a pretty wife
It was pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life

Horn-rimmed glasses, pocket protector on his shirt
Horn-rimmed glasses, pocket protector on his shirt
Looked like some uptight, upright, church-going nerd
but he loved to hear that carburetor rumble and purr
Quick and quiet as a switchblade knife
Pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life

Full moon over Woodlawn, full moon over Cedar Grove
Full moon over Woodlawn, full moon over Cedar Grove
Early next morning Mama put the coffee on
Looked out the window and the GTO was gone

Glass in the driveway, skid marks out on the road
Glass in the driveway, skid marks out on the road
Talking to the cops, say they didn’t hear a sound
Hot-wire spark, joyride bound
Quick and quiet as a switchblade knife
Pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life

Three days later, the ugly truth was revealed
Three days later, the ugly truth was revealed
Sergeant called my daddy, said to file a claim
“We pulled your GTO out of Cross Lake with a chain

Two black boys done it and we got ‘em in the Caddo jail”
He said "it was two black boys done it and we got ‘em in the jail"
I never knew why it mattered that they were black
The GTO was gone it wasn’t ever coming back
Quick and quiet as a switchblade knife
Pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life

Daddy got a job at T.L. James, bought himself a GTO
Daddy got a job at T.L. James, bought himself a GTO
Had a little baby boy and a pretty wife
It was pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life
Quick and quiet as a switchblade knife
Pedal to the metal to the gettin’ good life
Track Name: Letter to Shreveport
Letter to Shreveport
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

Letter to Shreveport
Black ink between blue lines
Letter to Shreveport
Black ink between blue lines
Still got some people there
Still see them in my mind

Hot coffee in a percolator
Drop biscuits on the stove
Coffee in a tin percolator
Drop biscuits on the stove
Johnny Horton on the radio
You don’t hear that no more

Message to Monroe
Dialing down to Baton Rouge
Message to Monroe
Dialing down to Baton Rouge
I’m on the outside now
Can’t get a line back through

Talking to Brownie Ford
Or was it: he was talking to me
Talking to Brownie Ford
Or was it: he was talking to me
He said “Don’t let em mess with your music
Keep it real, keep it free—
For me”
Track Name: Walking on the Levee
Walking on the Levee
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

Summer Sunday morning, no one else around
I’m walking on the levee, between the river and the town
Water’s moving fast, streets are slow
Gonna go a little farther, past the part I know

Wasp on the grass, a floating red thorn
Sun coming up, day being born

In that big house last night where I played my guitar
Everyone’s still sleeping off what they drank at the bar
Or are they making quiet love ‘neath the turning of a fan—
Did they wake to the sound of dogs barking at a man?

I grew up down the road, it’s been 40 years
Walking on the levee now, I’m a stranger here

Read the graffiti on the pump station wall:
“I heart Amber” in a red sprayed scrawl
“Did you ever have a dream you’re sure was real?”
“What does God hide—what does God reveal?”

Her daddy had a houseboat docked right down there
I still remember her kiss, the smell of her hair
That boat burned and sank 25 years ago
Karen died by lightning strike, I was told

Walking on the levee, pretty ghost at my side
The past and the present all caught in my eye
Track Name: Shotgun Behind the Door
Shotgun Behind the Door
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

The old man and his mind
Were tucked inside
The little house on Quinton Street
Jesus peered down
From a frame on the wall
From the dark garden of Gethsemane

Friday night roared
Through summer window screens
Engines racing, siren sound
In the city he sees, behind his eyes
Trouble’s face is always a shade of brown

I don’t know
What I don’t know
In this world anymore
Say my prayers
Knowing there’s
A shotgun behind the door

Watching Lawrence Welk
From his easy chair
White gloves, rhinestones glow
No Detroit riot
No Memphis march
No troublemaker gonna stop the show


There in the corner
It leaned like a broom
Stark against the wall
In a parlor where
No one would gather
Nothing but dust would fall

He said “You gotta watch yourself
‘Round here, grandson—
Some fool come around, knock you in the head”
But that old man died
As old men will do
In a morphine dream, in a nursing home bed
Track Name: Crowville
Crowville
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

Red wing bird splits the sky
Green grows wild on the highway side
Just like they know you,
Folks wave from the wheel
Cars passing
Crowville

Out in the field, outside the wall
Coyotes coming, hear ‘em call
Running on hunger and free will
Gone in the morning
Crowville

Little jambox blares from the ground
Preacher’s voice like a tearing sound
The Lord’s at hand and the devil’s on the kill
Way down there
Crowville

Charles Ray, he’s long gone
Ms. Martha carries on
I hear us laughing with him still—
Hand slaps the table
Crowville

Red wing bird splits the sky
Green grows wild on the highway side
Just like they know you,
Folks wave from the wheel
Cars passing
Crowville
Track Name: Goodnight Brownie Ford
Goodnight Brownie Ford
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

The old man’s face
A map of scars
Straw Stetson brim
Half Comanche
They called him Brownie
For his Indian skin

I met him once
In a cafe
In my hometown
In a corner singing
Black Jack David,
Don’t Let the Deal Go Down
We called him back for more
Goodnight Brownie Ford

Just a kid
Breaking horses
Working wild west shows
Rope and leather
Cards and money
Learning fast how the old song goes

Declared me dead twice, he said
But I never was that far gone
Yeah that saddle bronc dragged me to the gates of heaven
I couldn’t stay down long
Dying ain’t what living’s for
I snuck out that hospital ward
Goodnight Brownie Ford

Played his guitar
From here to far
Woodsmoke and campfire songs
Float up to the stars til the night is gone

I remember talking to him
More likely, he was talking to me--
Saying “Don’t let ‘em mess with your music
If you go to Tennessee”

As the fire flared and died
From his cigarette
And he looked me in the eye to ask
A riddle with his next breath--
All the free advice I could afford
Got in his car and closed the door
Goodnight Brownie Ford
Track Name: Immigrant
Immigrant
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

Feel like a immigrant, baby, with the law on his heels
Ain’t got no papers for the way I feel
The man hunts you down, the world bleeds you dry
Hangnail moon scraping ‘cross a sheet-metal sky

Heart bouncing like a tin can inside my chest
Pocket watch hanging from a black leather vest
Hands stopped moving 30 years ago
I still know when it’s time to go

You can declare yourself in a bus station stall
Carve your name with a knife in the paint on the wall
Run the blade thru the guts of an old dog guitar
They’re drinking up your blood in the butcher’s bar

Monotone electric, the swarm of the traffic
Holy souls all out among the plastic
Jumping for the money, the fat and the chrome—
Jesus watched from the window of the old folks’ home
Track Name: Church on Time
Church on Time
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

I was up all night, working hard on the mountain
Rollin’ eighty mile an hour on the way back down
Back on the flats at 7:02
Sun coming up, I started thinking about you
If that dashboard evangelist could’ve kissed your Sunday bedroom eyes
He wouldn’t make it to church on time

Preacher drive a Lincoln, deacon drive a Ford
This old rust-bucket got four on the floor
And a wide windshield full of distractions
I want a pop-a-top, pawn shop piece of the action
I was straight on my way to the tent revival
When something on the corner shined
I didn’t make it to church on time

Yes I want to be good--like I should
But I always seem to find
The sweetest fruit on the vine

The congregation met and they sent me a letter
Said we’re gonna pray for you, son, ‘til your timing gets better
We’re making a mark for every day you miss
Remember old Judas went astray with just one kiss
When his immortal soul was lost for the mere cost of 40 dimes
He didn’t make it to church on time
Track Name: Cajun with a K
Cajun with a K
©Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music(BMI))

This place is just concrete split with weeds,
Child’s handprint imbedded, dated 1973.
They spell cajun with a K on the next door store sign,
Selling crawfish, cigarettes and fishing line.

And decay takes its own saccharine time.
That’s the main drag dying down there under the overpass,
Where nobody goes but those with nowhere to land:
The drifting, the insane, an occasional
College rock band in search of a gritty urban vibe
for their promotional photograph,
Then they haul their asses right back to campus

Or the truly courageous
venture down to the Blue Diamond,
sit at the bar, while the regulars slap their dominoes
down on the gold-flecked formica. Then a certain type
of nervous fella leans in to your ear, with one eye
on your girl; she’s the finest thing seen
come through these doors in years. He’s asking:
“How much? How much?”

A few poets remain, the lucky locked in and tenured
over at the state college. Knowledge
is its own reward, but if one more alcoholic
wonders out loud why I’m not a millionaire
there’s a fist for an answer.
Becky there at the register
wanted to be a dancer, ended up a cashier
instead. Don’t let dreams go to your head,
Like spunk swimming up to the ovaries.
She had a kid with special needs, who
needs to be fed. How do you make
a living out of poetry, a payday from a plié?
Like diamonds from the mud in the riverbed.

I worked at a bar
where all the divorcees would feed on each other,
blood-drunk piranhas
swimming in vodka and disco.
Where brother Alonzo was the parking valet.
He’d clock in at 4, start throwing down
Colorado bulldogs. Sitting out there in a folding chair
in a white tux shirt and a red bowtie,
weaving cars in and out between them yellow lines.
There’s Johnny Carl, the DA, throwing up
in the parking lot again, down on his knees
beside his red Cadillac but he ain’t no slack,
he’ll be back in court tomorrow—
trying to send another poor boy
through those jailhouse doors.
You damn right he done it.

Before happy hour,
the waitresses were talking.
One of their boyfriends
got so pissed at her apparent dildo addiction
he grabbed the thing right out of her hands,
opened the apartment door,
threw it off the 3rd floor balcony.
Still humming.
A midnight pink silicone rocket,
landed on the August afternoon asphalt,
still humming.
Still humming . . .

Mama don’t live here no more
Nobody knows Daddy’s name
down at the liquor store
I got nothing saved
But my fear and my rage
If I had . . . if I had my way