2012-03-01FCC Warning: Track 3, a great song but poppin' a GD about ¾ the way through. The title track of Gloryland starts out with just a guitar, a drum, and lyrics that'll make you think of Dylan - a brave way to start any record; especially the first one in seven years. The song crashes to such a crescendo, ending in a blast, that you know you're in for something good. No bluster, nothing more than just what it is – rock solid, well written, honest music. “Don't Stop Me This Time” is anthem rock as if John Hiatt joined Wet Willie or Widespread Panic. “Colfax/Step In Time” a brutal, ambitious opus. It starts softly, swells to ripping guitar and gospel choir only to end with a quiet banjo and glockenspiel. The song is a harsh look at life in a lost corner of the mid 20th Century Louisiana. It burns like “a first cigarette or bourbon spilled on a bare thigh.” “Pecolia's Star” is built on the sayings of a eloquent Southern quilter. “Black Dog” thrums along like a Smithereens song if they had come up down South rather than in New York. What would Jesus do if, like me, he had never seen this guy before is the modern problem fleshed out in “Trying to Get to Memphis.” At the surface, “Bus to Shreveport” is slow burn swamp rock at its finest, but a bleak story of anger and violence bubbles up like tar popping out of the cracks of a Louisiana highway in August. “Nine Bells” is kind of spooky in a Red Hot Chili Peppers working with U2 kind of way. “Side of the Road” is straight forward and real, like getting branded. If Joe Strummer and Buddy Holly ever co-wrote a song it would be “One I Love.” The writing is intelligent, real and poignant; the music fresh, rootsy and direct. The real American essences in the music, sprinkled like garnish, get you tapping your toe, and draw you in - close enough so Gordon can swing at you with the big stick of real life. “Between what's ahead/And what's behind/Just another step in time.” Reviewed by Todd Townsend
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