James Gordon’s new project: “When I Stayed Home”, on Pipe Street Records
Available in CD form here, and as a download available at jamesgordonmusic.bandcamp.com
James Gordon, like most of us, had his life radically disrupted by the pandemic.
A legendary ‘gig pig’, he’s toured relentlessly since he was 20 years old, which wasn’t exactly yesterday.
Stuck at home, he sulked for a while then got busy. And boy was he busy.
From his tiny studio he finished a novel that is accompanied by a 36-song recording; he did a virtual tour of his one-man show “James Gordon’s Emergency Climate Musical”; he kicked cancer’s butt, dealt with the overwhelm of his side hustle as a Guelph city councillor during Covid, and perhaps most significantly, wrote and recorded his 40th album, called, appropriately, “When I Stayed Home”.
Unable to bring any of his ‘stable’ of top Canadian talent into the studio, Gordon buckled down and played all the instruments himself, including acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, bass, accordion, (the loneliest of instruments), harmonica, tin whistle, ukulele, and percussion. He made two brief exceptions to his “all by myself rule” with stellar cameos from vocalist Tannis Slimmon and clarinetist John David Williams.
The ‘stay at home’ orders allowed Gordon to challenge himself lyrically and musically, and we think you’ll appreciate the results. The songs are reflective, the sound intimate and warm; stripped down. Just as the album was ready for release, he popped another song into the mix, a timely commentary on the shocking news around residential schools. That late arrival, “We’ll Bring You Home” is the first single on a project that covers many topics including climate change, the income gap, racism, empathy, social justice, our natural environment, and ‘love in a challenging time’. James says these songs demanded to be written, and he’s excited about sharing them with the opening-up world.