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.”
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.”
Santa Cruz Area
June 19 Brookdale Inn, 9pm, Brookdale, CA
June 23 Crepe Place, 8pm, Santa Cruz
June 21 Ace Ciderhouse, 8pm, Sebastopol
June 26 Tucker Farm Center, 8pm, Calistoga
June 27 The Music Store, 2pm; Plough & Stars, 8pm, San Francisco
July 4 Waterfront Blues Festival, 6pm
July 5 Laurelthirst Public House, 8pm
July 6 Sellerwood Riverfront Park, 6pm