Tilt and Shine

by Kevin Gordon

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    Kevin's July 2018 release in CD format, packaged in an eco-wallet. Graphic design by Keith Brogdon (Thinking Out Loud Design); photos by Frank Hamrick and Jacob Blickenstaff.

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1.
Fire at the End of the World (©K. Gordon) Me and Billy, seventeen Sitting in class, feeling bored and mean In came the teacher, said we had a guest She introduced the sheriff, and put off the test He talked about pot, how folks grew their own Statistics were given, slides were shown Pills, powders, LSD I found out what all that would do to me Around here things stay pretty slow Hound dogs sleep in the middle of the road Gotta shuck the oyster to find the pearl And I heard about a fire at the end of the world Didn’t know what we were doing, but we were gonna get it done Headed down Louisiana highway 1 Life’s a magazine; the pages start to curl Down there by the fire at the end of the world Drove straight south til the road met the water Split a half a gram, & a hit of good blotter Every bit of evidence was gone Sitting on the hood feeling it coming on There it was, a gold flame in the black velvet sky Over the refinery so wild and high That’s when a parish deputy appeared Asked what we were doing down there He stared at Billy, he stared at me I mumbled something about what we came to see I give the devil neither the credit or the blame I was just down there looking for that flame Sometimes you just want things to tilt and shine— Change it up a little bit inside your mind. You gotta shuck the oyster to find the pearl I heard about a fire at the end of the world
2.
Saint on a Chain (©Kevin Gordon) I grew up right down the road Never had too far to go Making it here, your chance is slim Folks leave this town, you won’t see em again Mama died in ’93 This silver medal she gave to me St. Christopher ‘round my neck Wherever I go, my soul he protects Every river’s a daughter of a dirty rain But see how it shines Water’s moving like the blood pushing through my veins See how it shines, like a saint on a chain Heather was so sweet to me Her daddy owned some property Maybe my drinking was a little much She turned cold to my touch That story about another woman, Maybe it was true-- Heather put together 2 and 2 She kicked me out and changed the locks On my motel door now the sheriff knocks After work I take my lonesome down With a Percocet, and a double shot of Crown But the higher I get, the harder it seems To get back to that place that floats like a dream One hand on the wheel, doing 85 And all my trouble just flies on by I want to forget everything I know I want to close my eyes and just let her go Rearview glow of the city bright Angel of death got no headlight And you who’d protect me, I ask no more Just carry me ‘cross to that other shore
3.
One Road Out (Angola Rodeo Blues) (©K. Gordon) Six white horses here to ride Man don’t need but one Crack that leather across her back Send him over the sinking sun Hear that crowd roar when Johnny Took a bull's horn in his side He’s on his back in the mud, boys Took a stretcher for a ride One road in, one road out One road in, one road out I was drinking Crown with the deputy Down at the Old Camp bar Watching them guards come in off shift Rain falling over the yard He said “everyone’s a preacher— Inside a prison cell— If they ever leave here living They leave Jesus in the jail Leave their Jesus in the jail” One road in, one road out One road in, one road out
4.
04:00
Gatling Gun (©K.Gordon) If I had a rocket ship and a Gatling gun I’d fly all the way up to the sun Shoot it full of holes til I put out the light Fall back to the ocean and call it a night Gonna call John Henry help build me a railroad Straight through the coal mines, pick up a big load Dig a hole to China, ride it on down Keep sinking low til I come out on higher ground I still see her there How the river wind plays her hair Gold in fallen light Right by my side I could take a razor to my blank stare Bleed out every memory of her in there Toss my eyes like dice into the sky But I’d come up empty, still asking why I still see her there How the river wind plays her hair Gold in fallen light On the levee by my side Giving me her time The wild meadow of her mind The bloom of her soft kiss Why can’t it stay like this And nothing less? These days nothing stays the same But my tongue remembers the shape of her name Love is free and free to roam But I can’t quit no matter how far away she goes
5.
Right on Time (©K. Gordon/G. Owen) I got 57 dollars, 400 miles A little prayer to whisper to the ceiling tiles A cold clear morning blaring through the motel blinds I hear the call but the speaker’s blown and I’m a long way from home I’ll be there right on time Two kids and a wife, that makes three People who don’t know what to make of me Blowing through the doors with my four chords and my rhymes Chasing down the next hundred bucks Dying for love, praying for luck I’ll be there right on time I’m gonna be there—right on time Gonna be there—right on time Come on trouble, tell me what you know I've heard it all so long ago I'm gonna be there, right on time Sometimes I wake up and don’t know where I am, North of Baltimore, south of Destrahan Dreaming my lover was with me here in 209 And I’m not sure just where I’m bound But I sure am covering ground And I’ll be there right on time I’m gonna be there—right on time Gonna be there—right on time Gold streets and pearly gates Someday heaven won’t have to wait I’m gonna be there, right on time Right on time
6.
DeValls Bluff (©K. Gordon/J. McMahan) Old iron trestle Stripes of shadow Over the hood of the car It bubbles with rust It’s a wonder to trust You read the sign, but do you know where you are? Stair-step crack crawls Cinder block wall Highlines over ponds and pines Catfish wind blows cold With stories untold Idle time is a friend of mine Out of the pen Back here again Cutting logs, cutting hogs, cutting pine I was staying on the straight But I like how that out-of-state Escalade like a clean blade shines Old DeValls Bluff Is good enough Pigmeat falls off the bone See you come, see you go But you never know What might happen around here 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
7.
Drunkest Man in Town (©K. Gordon) Quiet streets, most folks are asleep In the tavern there’s laughter In the company you keep They’re buying another round For the drunkest man in town You’ve come so far, on a stool in a bar And you stuck with it til the devil Paid you with a bleeding star He’s grinning as he drowns The drunkest man in town Come the dawn, something’s missing Morning flies without a friend Not long ago you were laughing like The night would have no end To confess you’ll be the first You’re happiest at your worst Miles from where grace abounds The drunkest man in town Whiskey was fine; now you’re draining the wine One hand on the bottle, still clinging to the vine Leading you straight to the ground The drunkest man in town Someone pull the curtain down On the drunkest man in town
8.
Rest Your Head (©K. Gordon) Stars above the clouds tonight that I can’t see Pictures swirling up in my head say what you mean to me You're a thousand miles away You get tired this time of day That bad feeling ain’t all it seems Baby rest your weary head and dream Work is good but wants to steal away our time Hours and frustrations lead to nothing but Paper dollars and thin dimes It’s here and then it’s gone So we labor on Polished shoes and Listerine Baby rest your weary head and dream Rest a while Hear that laughing river flow When I find it I’ll follow it As far as it goes Cool wind in the shadow of a redwood tree I can’t see that bird but I’m a fool to think it’s singing just for me Whippoorwill or mockingbird, Lonesome song ain’t got no words But I think I know what it means Baby rest your weary head and dream Rest a while Hear that laughing river flow When I find it I’ll follow it As far as it goes And that bad feeling ain’t all it seems Baby rest your weary head and dream Baby rest your weary head
9.
Get It Together (©K.Gordon/Gwil Owen) So you lost your papa in the highway fog A copperhead bite took your old hound dog I know you’re taking it hard Three days laying drunk in the yard Staring down heavy weather Can you get it together now? You hunger for the lover who threw you away But you’re cheating on the one who’s never strayed She’s still on the threshold waiting First plane home’s the one I’d be taking Your fate’s light as a feather Better get yourself together now When you gonna get your shit together Might be now, might be never When you gonna get your shit together Might be now, might be never Better sit right down, and get it together now It’s a sad world, full of joy You can let it take you down, Let it take you down-- Or get back up in it And get it together now You got a conscience clear as a winding stream Your life flows by in a fever dream While the ice melts and oceans rise Is it too late or can’t we try As this world we're killing fades to the sweet bye-and-bye To stand up and make it better Can we get it together somehow?

credits

released July 27, 2018

Produced and engineered by Joe V. McMahan
Recorded at Wow & Flutter, Nashville, March 2017-March 2018
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen, Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA

Kevin Gordon vocal & guitar all tracks; tenor guitar #6
Joe V. McMahan guitar #1, 2, 4-7, 9; bass #1; harmony vocal #2; steel guitar, acoustic slide guitar #4
Ron Eoff, bass: #4, 6, 7, 9; harmony vocal #7
David Jacques, bass: #5
Paul Griffith,drums: #3, 6, 7, 9
Rob Crowell, keyboards: #2, 4, 5; piano #7, 9
Johnny Duke, guitar: #6
Jon Radford, drums: #1, 5
Joshua Hunt, drums: #4
Ian Fitchuk, drums, percussion: #2
Eli Bearid, bass: #2
Laura Mayo, harmony vocal: #5
Aaron Lee Tasjan, harmony vocal: #4, 9

All songs by Kevin Gordon except #5 by Kevin Gordon and Gwil Owen; #6 by Kevin Gordon and Joe V. McMahan; #9 by Gordon/Owen.

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Kevin Gordon Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Gordon is a Louisiana native whose latest releases, Tilt & Shine, 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, Hard Working Americans, Irma Thomas, & others. "Down to the Well", a duet w/Lucinda Williams, was featured on the Oxford American Southern Music Sampler. ... more

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