O Come Look at the Burning

Kevin Gordon

The Tennessean called Americana roots singer/songwriter Kevin Gordon “easily one of Nashville’s best, most literate and incisive songwriters,” and Keith Richards referred to him as “fucking bloody William Shakespeare.” Gordon’s distinct—sometimes driving, often swampy—style on O Come Look at the Burning at times evokes the raw funkiness of Tom Waits. Gordon’s deep, raspy voice and roughly beautiful, poetic lyrics combine with his spare, moody guitar playing to create an album which has become one of my new favorites. Guitarist Bo Ramsey joins Gordon on two songs. “Flowers,” featuring the just-right backup vocals of soul man Charles “Wigg” Walker, is swampiness you can sink right down into. Gordon’s “Casino Road” is more upbeat and made extra cool with the addition of Joe McMahan on Vox Jaguar: “Now the years go by and the cars go past/ They got the white-walled tires, they got the black tinted glass/ The wheel of fortune spins around and around/ And the people keep laying their money down/ But luck’s as fickle as the wind that blows/ Dust down the blacktop of casino road.”