It was a full house yesterday afternoon in the Recital Hall at MPC — 250 loyal fans, none of whom would miss an opportunity to hear David Gordon at his best. He fills all the roles of entertainer, raconteur, “dramaturge” (if he didn’t invent that term, he certainly owns it) and knock-em-dead singer in every style and genre known to man. Simply stated, he is a great and natural all-around musician, plus, incidentally, his guitar playing ain’t bad, either.
We heard a wide range of songs from an examples of a 12-century troubadour song to hillbilly, bluegrass, a hint of gospel, and contemporary songs by John Lennon, David Wilcox, Dick Gallagher, Maggie Lee and John McCutcheon. Unlike his themed presentation at Church in the Forest two years ago, when he blew us away with a magical history lesson about pioneer Americans between 1845 and 1875 and their westward migration on the Oregon Trail, this afternoon represented a compilation from six decades of his favorite songs. It was a very satisfying concert, and it was a very happy audience that departed (slowly) when the concert was over.
There were songs of hope: Can’t Help but Wonder Where I’m Bound and It’s almost Time, and there were songs of despair. like Brother, Can You Spare a Dime. Some of the showstoppers were The Cremation of Sam McGee (I have to hear that again, and soon), Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia on My Mind, and John McCutcheon’s I Wish You Goodnight.
David Gordon, we miss your presence at the Carmel Bach Festival, but don’t ever give up your song recitals. We were entertained, we were moved (sometimes to tears welling up in our eyes) and we heard many moments of magic.
Long Live David Gordon!