Buddies (#1)

Posted June 18, 2009

One of the most exciting things about the buying end of this business is finding a piece with great eye appeal (be it form, surface, originality, etc.), only to discover there’s more to it than meets the eye. Something that adds an unexpected dimension and makes it more unique and intriguing than I ever imagined.

The same thing’s true of people. You meet someone you find likable and interesting and then discover something so unexpected about him, it blows your mind.

That’s how it happened with my buddy Kevin Gordon. I was at FolkFest in Atlanta in 2004, happily browsing and shopping, when I wandered into the booth of a pale, kind of studious-looking guy with squarish black-rimmed glasses and a shock of dark hair. (Think Buddy Holly-meets-young-Elvis Costello).

It was Kevin, the unassuming proprietor of an excellent on-line source for self-taught and outsider art. At that particular show, he displayed a number of pieces by Willie Massey, and I flipped over a three-piece set of carved, unpainted miniature furniture. I didn’t buy them, but I couldn’t stop thinking about them. So, a week or so later, I contacted Keven through his website, chatted a while, struck a deal, and made a buddy.

He’s married with kids; I’m married with dogs. He’s got a mom the next town over from mine. He’s quirky; I like quirky. We share a passion for African American quilts. You know how friendships unfold. A year into that friendship I discovered “something more.”

kevingordon3

Kevin Gordon

Turns out Kevin’s not only a go-to guy for great folk art, he’s a Nashville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist with four albums tohis credit; a song (Flowers) on Irma Thomas’s 2006 Grammy-winning album; a rapidly growing fan base including other musicians who’ve recorded his songs; and a steady schedule of festival and club dates all over the country.  (I know. I should’ve paid more attention to the Holly-Costello vibe.) When I played his album O, Come Look at the Burning, it was like– Wow! Behind that low-key facade is a heart that rocks.

Now, if the name Kevin Gordon hasn’t yet hit your radar screen, you can google him, of course. Or visit our links page and follow the link to Gordon Gallery. Or, if  you live near Santa Cruz, the Bay area or Portland, Oregon, you can catch him on stage in the next few weeks at one of the following venues. Check him out. And discover, as I did, that incredible “something more.”

comelookattheburning1Santa Cruz Area
June 19  Brookdale Inn, 9pm, Brookdale, CA
June 23  Crepe Place, 8pm, Santa Cruz

Bay Area
June 21  Ace Ciderhouse, 8pm, Sebastopol
June 26  Tucker Farm Center, 8pm, Calistoga
June 27  The Music Store, 2pm; Plough & Stars, 8pm, San Francisco

Portland Area
July 4  Waterfront Blues Festival, 6pm
July 5  Laurelthirst Public House, 8pm
July 6  Sellerwood Riverfront Park, 6pm

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6 Responses to “Buddies (#1)”

  1. Kevin Duffy | November 10th, 2009 @ 7:41 am

    Hi, I also met Kevin at Folk Fest years ago and later bought two Willie Massie chairs from him. He’s an excellent person and a great promoter of Southern self-taught art.

  2. Curtis Scott | June 10th, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    Hi, I also met Kevin at Folk Fest years ago and later bought two Willie Massie chairs from him. He’s an excellent person and a great promoter of Southern self-taught art.
    +1

  3. Carole Shieff | June 16th, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    Hi, I also met Kevin at Folk Fest years ago and later bought two Willie Massie chairs from him. He’s an excellent person and a great promoter of Southern self-taught art.
    +1

  4. Katherine Dines | June 14th, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    I know Kevin Gordon too and LOVE his music! He is married to “Boo” Brown, daughter of Pat and Phil Brown, two of my parents’ dearest friends. My mom went to CAMP with Pat. I moved to Nashville from Denver before Kevin and Boo did, and critiqued his very first demo!!!! Rock on Bro’!

  5. Jean Compton | June 14th, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    Hi, Katherine, It’s definietly a small world. Kevin’s Gloryland CD is amazing. Did you see the email I sent you earlier this morning?– in response to your note to me. I’ll be in touch soon. Best, Jean

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