The Heritage Hall Sessions (Borealis Records)
This time our esteemed editor, gave me my favourite kind of assignment. Listen to and write about a new work from someone I have admired for…well…for always it seems. This is James Gordon’s 40th recording and 26th solo project. As a founding member of Tamarack and his many other projects, James’s body of work is a beautiful and profoundly entertaining frieze in Canada’s musical wall.
So, to the Heritage Hall Sessions. A hall built in 1884 in Guelph, ON, played host awhile back to a live recording of James Gordon’s new material, produced by his son, Evan, and backed up by some old friends: Jeff Bird, Katherine Wheatley, Anne Lindsay, Tannis Slimmon, and Ian Bell. A collection of stellar musicians who deliver way more than justice to the songs they back James on.
This project “sounds” as wonderful as it sounds. A very pleasing and enjoyable sonic package of concertina, melodeon, harmonica, bass, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and sweet harmony takes you to that evening in Heritage Hall.
James delivers the songwriting goods—all good—and, as always, a few great songs: The System Isn’t Broken, In the Dying Days of the Empire of Oil, and You Want To Be Heard. They made me realize, once again, that this kid is good—very, very good. That’s why we have listened and admired all these years.
So, in these trying times, where supporting touring artists is on hold, please show your support by BUYING—not streaming—this lovely, lovely piece of work.